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No Coronavirus Impact On Industry So Far: Anurag Thakur

Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur has said that initial feedback from various sectors of the economy does not point towards any significant adverse impact of the coronavirus epidemic in China on the Indian trade and industry so far. The government is, however, serious about preparing a contingency plan to protect Indian interests in any eventuality.

Addressing a media conference after an interaction with 300-odd stakeholders, including members of trade, industry, chartered accountants and lawyers from Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh on taxation and related issues, Thakur informed that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has held discussions with all sections of trade and industry with exposure to China, especially relating to import of raw materials and capital goods, to seek a feedback on the impact of the epidemic and possible measures the government needs to take. 

No Coronavirus Impact On Industry So Far: Anurag Thakur, Lifeinchd

Photos By : Life In Chandigarh

While maintaining that it is in the interests of the entire world that the epidemic is contained in the shortest possible time, he felt that at the same time the government and trade and industry should see the current economic situation prevailing in China as a window of opportunity.

Reiterating the Modi government’s commitment to achieve a US$ 5 Tn economy by 2024-25, he said it has taken several measures in the last nine months to spur investment and growth, including wide ranging tax reforms, maintaining fiscal discipline and strengthening the banking sector, which, he alleged was left in a shambles by the previous UPA government.

No Coronavirus Impact On Industry So Far: Anurag Thakur, Lifeinchd

No Coronavirus Impact On Industry So Far: Anurag Thakur, Lifeinchd

Listing out a few of the measures, the MoS Finance said slashing of corporate tax rate from 30% to 22% for existing companies, which is expected to cover 93% of the industry, and from 25% to just 15% for new manufacturing companies was a very bold step.

Asserting that the banking sector has also been revived by undertaking an asset quality review of public sector banks, strengthening them by consolidating 10 banks into four entities and effecting recapitalisation of banks to the extent of Rs 3.80 lakh crores, he said now the banks are flush with funds and in a much better position to lend to business and industry.

By recently organising ‘grahak melas’ at 400 different places across the country, the banks have sanctioned loans liberally, he claimed, adding that public sector banks have been advised to earmark two days every month when, after lunch hour, officials at every branch, circle office and zonal office will listen to the problems of the industry and business and try to resolve them expeditiously.

No Coronavirus Impact On Industry So Far: Anurag Thakur, Lifeinchd

Dwelling on taxation reforms, he claimed that the ‘Sabka Vishwas’ (Legacy Dispute Resolution) Scheme has led to the resolution of 90% of the indirect tax disputes, bringing big relief to trade and industry, and, at the same time, pouring thousands of crores back into the government financial system. Following the success of this scheme, the government is now introducing a  ‘Vivad Se Vishvas’ scheme to further bring down the pendency of tax disputes, he informed.

Emphasising that tax collections have also shown a marked increase of 8% in the last few months over last year’s collections, he said it is a clear indicator towards revival of the economy. Even rating agencies, showing confidence in the strength of the Indian economy, have projected that the country will grow at 6-6.5% next year.  

Pointing to other achievements of the government, he mentioned that FDI inflows in the country during the past five years have been what UPA had achieved in their last 10 years. Forex reserves are at a high, fiscal deficit has been brought down from UPA’s 5.2% to 3.5% and will be further reduced next year, inflation has been brought down from a high of 12% to 4 % and current account deficit has also been kept in check, he added.

Claiming that the government’s announcement of infusing Rs 103 lakh crore into infrastructure development in the next 5 years would give a fillip to many sectors of the economy, he said the country is moving in the right direction – from 11th largest economy in the world to 5th largest and set to emerge as the 3rd largest economy in the world.

The minister was accompanied by John Joseph, Member, Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC); Prabhash Shankar, Member, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT); Dr PS Puniha, Principal Chief Commissioner Income Tax, North West Region; and Himanshu Gupta, Chief Commissioner, CBIC, Chandigarh.

The interaction was organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the departments of Indirect Taxes & Customs and Income Tax Department at the CII Northern Region headquarters in Chandigarh.

In his address, Sameer Gupta, Chairman, CII Northern Region & CMD, Jakson Group, suggested reduction in tax rate slabs from six to three, bringing petroleum products, electricity and liquor under the purview of GST, ensuring single GST registration and setting up of GST Appellate Tribunals.  by APR Media House is an enjoyable digital reading startup, which keeps you abreast of the latest meaningful happenings of interest to large sections of folks in Chandigarh tricity, and expats from the region. It has been promoted by a public spirited senior journalist and media consultant with a view to encourage good quality and healthy journalism, a dire need of the times.

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