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Passage of GST and land acquisition bills necessary to create jobs and remove poverty: Jaitley

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ArunJaitley

New Delhi: Reacting to a grim picture of rural India projected by the Socio-Economic and Caste Census 2011, Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, on Sunday said the passage of bills on Goods and Service Tax (GST) and land acquisition is necessary to create jobs and remove poverty.

As per the latest official data released on Friday, for nearly 75 percent of the 17.9 crore (nearly 180 million) households in rural India, the monthly income of the highest-earning member is less than Rs.5,000 ($83), and 40 percent households are landless, its members toiling as manual casual labourers.

“Improving this situation is the number one priority of this government,” Jaitley said in a Facebook post titled “Message of the Socio-Economic and Caste Census”.

“The government is creating the conditions for greater private investment: implementing the GST and creating a common market, reforming the land law, easing the costs of doing business and unblocking stalled projects are all measures that will improve the conditions for investment,” the finance minister said.

“Passing the GST and reforming the land law will accelerate this investment turnaround,” he added.

While the GST Bill is currently being reviewed by a select committee of the Rajya Sabha, the Land Acquisition Bill has been referred the joint committee of parliament.

The GST is seen as the key to facilitating industrial growth and improving the country’s business climate. By subsuming most indirect taxes levied by the central and state governments such as excise duty, service tax, Value Added Tax and sales tax, the new regime proposes to facilitate a common market across the country, leading to economies of scale and reducing inflation through an efficient supply chain.

The passage of the bill and it becoming a law is a lengthy process.

Being a constitutional amendment bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha, it needs to be passed by the Rajya Sabha with a two-thirds majority and then ratified by at least 15 state legislatures before it is sent for the President’s assent. (IANS)

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India Finally Rolls Out GST After 17 Years of Struggle: Why there are Mixed Reactions?

The Bill was Passed in the Midnight at the Parliament House on 1st July

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GST. Wikimedia
  • Modi pointed out number of chapters in the Bhagavad Gita were same as number of times the GST council had met ie 18
  • The President said that during his term even Modi had some issues about the bill but then praised Modi of having a constructive approach towards GST
  • Arun Jaitley complemented the quality and maturity with which the political stakeholders made the GST launch a success

July 1, 2017: After 17 years of limitless struggle, finally on July 1, 2017, GST (Goods and Services Tax) became a reality in India and the country is having mixed reactions about it. While some segment of the population is happy about it, some think it would give rise to inflation and other simply don’t understand the GST bill.

The Bill is launched from the Parliament House where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the person who made this into a reality. He translated this historic tax reform as ‘Goods and Simple Tax’.

During the enactment speech, Modi also pointed out two similarities in the Indian history and GST bill. One was that the number of chapters in the Bhagavad Gita were same as the number of times the GST council had met i.e. 18. Secondly, one was the number of taxes before GST and number of self-governed provinces in India before they were brought under one government by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

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PM Modi said GST was not only a tax reform but a social reform too, and added, “Just like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel united over 500 provinces into one India, there were 500 different types of taxes spread across 29 states and seven Union Territories that we are bringing into one tax regime…. The best brains in the country have been working to make GST a reality and today it has become an exemplar of cooperative federalism in the country.”

Another notable thing about the GST launch was the attendees of the event. The SP (Samajwadi Party) and the BSP (Bahujan Samajwadi Party) didn’t have any take on attending the session but finally, they changed their minds and Ram Gopal Yadav from SP and Veer Singh with Raja Ram from BSP also attended the launch.

The only corporate leader was Ratan Tata and from the Bollywood industry, actor Amitabh Bachchan and Lata Mangeshkar were also invited.

Modi’s speech followed the speech of Pranab Mukherjee who said, “It is also a momentous occasion for me personally. I had introduced the Constitutional Amendment Bill in 2009 as the Finance Minister.”

He also added that during his term even Modi had some issues about the GST in a subtle way but then praised Modi of having a constructive approach towards GST.

After the President, Arun Jaitley was the third speaker who complimented the quality and maturity with which the political stakeholders made the GST launch a success. He also added that “this is a high point in Indian Politics.”

While the Opposition parties, including the Congress, didn’t attend the launch. They criticized that the bill was passed in a hurry and called it a blunder.

The government claimed that the reform will successfully create a national market, enhance the ease of doing business and improve tax compliance. Now after the successful launch of the event, the next most important thing would be towards the implementation of India’s biggest tax reform.

– by Sumit Balodi of NewsGram. Twitter: @sumit_balodi

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Arun Jaitley slams Congress for delay in GST bill

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New Delhi: Lashing out at the Congress party again for blocking a pan-India goods and service tax regime, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said some reform-oriented laws, nonetheless, were expected to be passed during the remaining three days of what has been a none-too-productive winter session of parliament thus far.

“The next three days are crucial with very important pieces of legislation coming up before our parliament,” Jaitley said here addressing the annual general meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).

Among the legislations listed by him, one was on the bankruptcy code and the other on arbitration.

Nonetheless, he said the steps taken by his government will prove to be beneficial. “We’re hoping that structural reforms undertaken will help us go to 8 percent growth in 2016-17,” he said, even as the mid-term economic survey released a day before had cut the prospect to 7-7.5 percent.

Jaitley’s speech had political content as well, notably on the effort in vain, thus far, to get the goods and services tax bill passed in the current parliament session. “I’ve no doubt in my mind that the attempt to delay the GST is entirely for collateral reasons,” he said.

“The only collateral reason I suspect is: ‘If I couldn’t do it, then why to let someone else do it’!” Jaitley exclaimed, but added: “A delayed GST is better than a flawed GST.”

As regards the legislations which the government wished the two houses to consider over the next three days, Jaitley said one of them sought to put India back on the global adjudication map for cases of arbitration as the costs of such litigation were enormous abroad.

“We’re bringing in a bill for fast-track arbitration, including single-member tribunals.”

He also referred to the proposed new bankruptcy code that aims to resolve cases of insolvency at the earliest so that amounts lent to such companies can also be recovered fast. The bill has proposed a timeline of 180 days, extendable by another 90 days, to resolve such cases.

Speaking at the event later, Jaitley’s deputy and Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha forewarned that low farm sector growth and the cost of implementing the pay commission recommendations together with a slow global expansion will prove to be taxing for his government next year.

“Next year is a challenging year. Headwinds of two major factors will be slowing us down,” Sinha said, adding the slowing farm output growth was the result of two successive years of bad monsoon and the global slowdown was hitting India’s merchandise exports.

He also said the government has its task cut out in meeting the fiscal deficit targets.(IANS)

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GST Bill will help unify India, says RBI Governor

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By Arnab Mitra

Kolkata: RBI Governor Dr Raghuram Rajan said the GST Bill would help unify India during his talk at the prestigious Dipak Banerjee Memorial Lecture at the Presidency University on Thursday.

“The GST will help to bring more people on tax net and will reduce the barriers between states as they will have a uniform policy in terms of inter-state trading,” said Rajan.

Rajan’s lecture was on the topic of ‘Debt Policy’ in our country and around the world.

He described the disappointing fact that how money lenders in the country were routinely exploiting the poor class. The comment is very significant as, in West Bengal and in India at large, the population is vastly affected by scams such as the Saradha scam and Rose Valley scam among others.

However he warned big companies from borrowing heavily from banks as over-leveraging creates trouble.

“Moderation is required and some debt is good; but not too much. Avoid borrowing a huge amount to avoid problems,” Rajan added.

On being asked whether he was linking the issue of debt policy with the political scenario of the state, or its economic condition, he sidestepped the issue saying he wasn’t much aware of the condition in West Bengal.

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