The Congress stepped up its attack on the government, alleging that the Prime Minister and Finance Minister were guilty of “monumental mismanagement of economy”.
The single-biggest taxation reform since independence, the Goods and Services Tax will subsume 16 different taxes, including excise, service tax and VAT, and make India a single market for seamless movement of goods and services.
“Hundreds of crores of money they are taking out of the vaults of treasury just to build a personality cult around one person. The BJP has called it ‘MODI Fest’,” said Anand Sharma.
The government on Thursday announced a slew of measures, including discounts on digital payments on purchase of petrol, railway ticket and insurance policies, to incentivise cashless payments.
The panel is to review the ground-level situation following the decision to demonetise high-value currency and suggest possible ways to ease hardships and inconvenience.
“The largest banker in the country State Bank of India (SBI) saw deposits of Rs 47,868 crore till Saturday afternoon,” Jaitley said while briefing the media in New Delhi.
Jaitley dismissed the rumour of salt deficiency and inbuilt electronic chip in Rs 2000 notes. “These are concocted rumours,” said Jaitely. The minister urged people to stagger depositing defunct currency and not crowd banks
Jaitley will try to iron out differences over the new regime that will subsume all indirect taxes.
Jaitley will also review the progress made with regard to Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency (MUDRA) and Stand Up India programme.
The Union minister expressed concern that some state governments are using public funds for personal promotion through selective advertisements and this is affecting neutrality of journalism.
While the Congress lost Kerala and Assam where it was in power, the BJP won a clear majority in Assam and won a seat in Kerala for the first time.
Addressing a group of nine World Bank Executive Directors, currently on a visit to India, Jaitley said there is a need for “the World Bank to have a larger capital base, more activity and more projects”.
Jaitely said the BJP has emerged as an alternative to the two parties, which have been ruling the state alternately.
Jaitley has said the purpose of taxing interest earned on 60 per cent of withdrawals of contribution made after April 1, 2016 was to encourage people to invest in annuity or pension schemes.
The move is likely to free up as much as Rs 3,50,000 crore in capital of public sector banks, helping them boost buffers while complying with a deadline set to clean up their balance sheets.