DELIVERING GROWTH Industry

GST only a matter of time: FM

Arun Jaitley says he will soon be announcing the first tranche ofexemptions from corporate tax that are to be done away with.

Arun Jaitley says he will soon be announcing the first tranche ofexemptions from corporate tax that are to be done away with.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Finance Minister expects to table the Bankruptcy law in the winter session of Parliament.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, on Wednesday, said that the > passage of the GST (Goods and Services Tax) Bill is only a matter of time and that he expects to table the Bankruptcy law in the winter session of Parliament.

>Obstruction against the GST has been due to political reasons. Within months from now, the numbers (in the Rajya Sabha) are going to tilt even more. So it will become easier to pass. GST is only a matter of time. As and when it is put to a vote, it will be passed,” the Finance Minister said while addressing a session on ‘Delivering Growth in the New Context’ at an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the World Economic Forum.

Mr. Jaitley also added that he is looking to table the >government’s proposed Bankruptcy Bill in the upcoming winter session of Parliament. Also regarding corporates, the Union Finance Minister said that he will soon be announcing the first tranche of exemptions from corporate tax that are to be done away with. The first round of corporate rate cuts — part of the government’s longer term agenda of cutting corporate tax rates from 30 per cent to 25 per cent — will be announced in the next Budget.

Regarding corporate India’s investment performance, Mr. Jaitley said that he was conscious that private investment was low, but he said that was for two reasons. The first, poor demand, was not in their control. The second, that a large number of companies had over-borrowed and had over-stressed themselves, was something corporate India had to introspect about, Mr. Jaitley said.

Talking about infrastructure, Mr. Jaitley lauded the performance of the road sector, but said that the power sector was still a problem. “The big problem in infrastructure is the power sector. We are generating more power than India needs. However, state discoms, the last mile, are not in a position to lift that power because of their poor financial health,” he said, adding that reforms regarding the power sector will be announced soon.

As for the global economy and India’s exposure to it, Mr. Jaitley said that the big change in the world and economy at the moment is the Internet. “The world is so integrated that the newest norm in international markets is turmoil. The markets react to everything, for example, China’s devaluation, the Federal Reserve’s actions, etc,” he said.

There are some crises that impact more than others, he added. “If the U.S. Fed hikes rates, there will be some turmoil here but it will settle down. Like what happened after China’s currency devaluation,” Mr. Jaitley said.

Speaking at a session on ‘Renewing Infrastructure Finance’, Union Minister of Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu said that the government will announce its initiative towards >single-window clearances for building urban infrastructure by November 30.

“One major area of concern is the time taken to obtain project approvals and clearances. By November 30, we will be getting a notification from the government about easy approvals. Even to construct a tall building in Hyderabad or Thiruvananthapuram, one needs to come to Delhi for getting permission from the civil aviation authority. We are going to do away with all that,” Mr. Naidu said.

He added that all the relevant Ministries discussed the various clearances needed and a >single-window clearance will be in the offing by the end of November.

“We are also coming up with innovative policies like waste-to-energy, waste-to-compost. That also we are going to make compulsory. If you want urea, then you take two bags, but you must also take one bag of compost. There will be a subsidy for this also,” Mr. Naidu said.

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 11:31:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/arun-jaitley-says-gst-only-a-matter-of-time/article7842773.ece

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