Govt asks industry to work for July 1 roll out of GST: Finance Secretary Mr Ashok Lavasa

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

India Inc should work for the July 1 roll out of the Goods and Services Tax , which would take the country into “very exciting phase” of tax administration, Finance Secretary Mr Ashok Lavasa said at an ASSOCHAM Managing Committee meeting in New Delhi today.

Addressing the top policy making organ of the ASSOCHAM, Mr Lavasa said “We should all work towards July 1, if it gets achieved”. He said along with the government, the industry should organise training sessions for the trade and industry for the roll out of the new tax reforms.

The Chamber President Mr Sandeep Jajodia informed the Finance Secretary that the ASSOCHAM has already held over 55 conferences in different parts of the country on GST.

Dwelling on a host of issues, the Finance Secretary also allayed concerns that the fear of vigilance probes is coming in the way of the banks resolving the problem of the non-performing assets (NPAs). The honest bank officers have nothing to worry about and the existing laws provide them ample scope for finding a way out of the bad debt problem, Mr. Lavasa.

“I don’t know whether there can be a law which can make people fearless. If you take honest decisions you don’t have to fear three ‘Çs’ or 10 ‘Ç’,” Mr Lavasa said in response to concerns from the industry leaders that senior bankers are not willing to show courage in reaching settlements with the troubled units as they   have a lurking fear of Central Vigilance Commission, CBI or CAG .

The Finance Secretary said “If you take honest decisions you don’t have to fear. …Financing documents and rules of the game provide scope to sit with the banks in the interest of investment”.

He said efforts are on to save projects which have run into rough weather because of events beyond control of individuals or industries. The problem of the NPAs of the banks is restricted to a few sectors but it has to be resolved.

The Finance Secretary said the focus of the government is to efficiently spend increased outlays on public and infrastructure projects , including MNREGA which is run with greater efficiency or Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) schemes. As much as Rs 34,000 crore has been saved so far by implementing DBT in 78 schemes. Things like Aadhar seeding and inter-linkage of different schemes has helped plug the pilferages and bogus claimants.

In his welcome speech, the ASSOCHAM President said there was a need for expeditious capital spending on public sector and infrastructure projects including roads, highways and railways.

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