The government on Tuesday set out the roadmap to get India to break into the top 50 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi brainstorming with ministries.
The RBI has urged the government to move forward on reducing interest rates on small savings schemes such as public provident fund (PPF) and post office deposits, to help banks pare rates on deposits and loans and lead to a better transmission of the central bank’s rate cuts.
Move will increase burden on consumers but may generate close to Rs 1 lakh crore in revenue.
“Goods on the exempted list are mass-consumption items. No state will agree to include them,” said the finance minister of a BJP-ruled state. West Bengal FM Amit Mitra also dismissed the GST Council secretariat’s suggestion for a review of the exempted items. The secretariat had shot off a letter to states seeking a revision of exempted items.
“There are several cases where the disinvestment process has been going for years. There is very little interest in some of the companies. Keeping all these factors in mind, it has been decided that wherever buyer interest is muted we will recommend for closure of the unit,” said an official, who did not wish to be quoted.
Departments are looking into suggestions of waiving the requirement for global tender for government procurement in sectors where it thinks there is sufficient domestic capacity to execute a contract. The moves are part of the government’s thrust to ‘Make-in-India’ scheme, for which it has been working on ways to discourage imports.
While the idea is to look at all overseas players, the focus is on firms from countries such as China, which are seen to be sensitive. The talks for a set of possible restrictions come at a time when the Centre is weighing the option of allowing Chinese telecom major Huawei to participate in 5G trials.
B2C sales have been the key source of leakage of GST as consumers are often cajoled into paying in cash without taking a bill. The issue was discussed in detail at the first national GST conference, which was attended by senior officers from across the country, with officials suggesting that a check on this channel of leakage could bolster revenue by 15-20%.
The recent churn in the financial sector has seen private players such as ICICI Bank and Axis Bank shun the term loan business, while even public sector players — including State Bank of India — are reluctant to lend to infrastructure projects, which not only have a long-gestation but also carry massive implementation risks.
People from many industries are coming to us and saying they are out of distress: Nirmala Sitharaman
Commenting on her decision to slash corporate tax, the finance minister said that the industry has told her that the decision was taken at the right time and that it has made a big difference to their books. She said that the decision was announced on September 20 and industry will take time in announcing major investment decisions.
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