Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal

Now that we have a duly elected majority Government at the centre (and in the state too), it’s time for action and real performance now. All states and particularly those with same party Government as that of centre may certainly help the State Governments to get benefit from the central policies and allocations. 

We have now relatively thin but full fledged Government with all scope for expansion which may happen in near future. Industrial growth, employment generation and curbing inflation could be on the radar of the Government but miracles won’t happen overnight. Long term policies and their serious implementation, even intention thereof, would lift the sentiments. Stock markets are the only indicators which have witnessed the bullish trend ever since the exit polls were out. The change of Government itself is expected to see the return of retail investors and all capital market activities may see a rise in business and higher allocation of savings in stock market, given the investor confidence.

While Modi or New Government effect is expected to boost overall economic growth and macro-economic indicators, factors such as industrial & infrastructure development, employment generation, inflation control, curbing corruption & black money and tax reforms will be on priority list.

Some of the first steps should include policy formulation for large scale pan Indian large scale industrialization; fast track roads, ports, airports, railway and power projects; create jobs; introduce the much awaited goods and service tax at an early date; prompt households to spend more; direct tax reforms through pending DTC Code; agricultural and agri-infrastructure reforms including improvement in irrigation and storage facilities and giving direction to education system in India leading to more business and self employment.

Some of the specific tasks to be taken on hand could be laying down a clear policy road map for containing inflation, foods processing by private sector, improving food supply chain infrastructure, appropriate reforms in various labour laws, increasing road and rail network, opening up of banking sector and restructure banking in India, power sector reforms including pricing system, tax reforms, development of tourism sector, inviting foreign trade and investments, overall improvement in quality of education making it more purposive and value based, skill development, providing health care to all with emphasis on women and child health care, utilization of idle human resource talent, governance in administration and making it more inclusive and objective and so on.

The new Government is expected to keep governance as its key to bring economy and other issues back on right track. In the first initiative, it has been hinted out that freedom and empowerment of bureaucracy, removing economic bottlenecks, reforms leading to enhanced investments, policy framework and implementation, innovation in working, providing systems for resolving state issues and inter-ministerial issues, having sustainable government policies, prioritizing and reforming infrastructure sector etc. shall be on the radar of the Government.

It is high time now that we should leap frog into the growth trajectory, given the state of affairs, political framework and opportunities on hand. We may otherwise be missing the bus. We will have to work hard to see that goods days really arrive.

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  1. unnikrishnan v says:

    Of course,new government shall undertake change in certain policies.The large number of pending tax disputes in various foras and the money blocked and wsted for the litigation is alarming.Though last year CBEC had come out with VCES,2013 to attract the 11 lakh non filers of service tax returns ,the response was poor.The amount realised may be beyond the estimate of CBEC projection,which only prove the potential list of defaulters.Even w.r.to the VCES,the deptl officers are rejecting the declarations and open another bunch of pending disputes!!.The number of cases pending,especially in service tax matters pertaining to pre negative list era (till 1/7/2012) require special mention.The number of audit objections/SCNs,appeals,both before Commissioner and CESTAT will be in Lakhs and crores of tax is blocked.Similarly,in excise and Customs matters also pending litigations before CESTAT is alarming.Taking all this into consideration, a new AMNESTY SCHEME may be considered,by which the pending cases can be closed by paying the FIFTY percent of tax/duty involved and waiving the balance of tax,interest,penalty etc.The govt can easily mobilise lakhs of crores of amount by this single stroke of pen.I am not overlooking the work and amount fore gone by the Consultants/Advocates by such a move.An Assessee friendly move to improve the manufacturing and Service sector is the need of the hour.
    Thereafter,the scope and achievements of various bodies like Settlement Commission,OMbudsman etc in garnering revenue and solving tax disputes must be taken up.The money spent on such establishments will be much more than the amount collected through such bodies.The over enthusiasm shown by serving senior officers for such retirement berths should be an eye opener to the new Government.
    Wishing all success to the new Government and Best Wishes to the Finance Minister and team.

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