Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal, FCA, FCS
Its more or less an accepted fact that almost all economics including Indian economy are passing through a rough weather amidst global slowdown. The economic growth has slowed down in various industrial and service sectors over past few quarters. Some economists term it as a cyclical slowdown while others as structural due to changes taking place in various sectors. One such example could be sectors impacted by digital economy or auto mobile sector. While slowdown has a multiplier effect, Government still believes that the ongoing slowdown is temporary and that there are signs of recovery.
Of late, it is also seen that apart from the usual Budget, this time the present Government is indulging in reforms, reliefs and concessions in bits and pieces to specific sectors of economy. Some of their booster doses to review economic growth are seen in the form of relief to automobile sector, new tax refund scheme to refund taxes and duties to exporters, easy export credit and enhanced financing to exporters under priority sector lending norms. Some related measures include e-refunds, annual shopping fests for handicrafts, tourisms, textiles etc including quick GST input credit refunds. Recently, relief measures have been taken for real estate and housing sector which are expected to help create demand and revival. It announced a special Rs. 20,000 crore fund for financing affordable and middle income housing projects and lowering of interest rates on house building advances. There is a hope that there will be another dose of relief measures soon.
In the given situation, what the Government should be acting upon? While the Government is wise enough and ably guided by eminent pool of advisors, it would be desirable to look at some possible and workable measures, which inter alia include :
India ink and businesses expect a stable, consistent long term, transparent and forward looking tax policy which is aligned to business needs to achieve ease of doing business and this optimism is achievable if all stakeholders, viz, Government, policy-makers, revenue authorities, professionals, businessmen and consumers work towards achieving the same and benefits of GST reaches the end consumer, businesses are able to do businesses freely and easily and contribute to exchequer, tax revenue grows and tax governance is efficient, effective and productive.