Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday, said that newer investments by private players were an indicator that the demand seen post Covid-19 lockdown is sustainable. The minister was attending a virtual interaction with office bearers of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI)
Stating that the government is “increasingly feeling the revival of the Indian economy is not just happening due to the pent up demand which remained during the lockdown,” Sitharaman said, “The sustainability of the revival is something which I believe, is seen because many private investors, big corporate leaders —- particularly those who relate to core sectors —- are showing interest in newer investments. When newer investment are being planned by big industry, it is a very encouraging sign, because when new investments happen from the private sector, it means it comes because they are confident that there is demand picking up…I take it as an indicator that demand is genuinely sustainable.”
While addressing a webinar on “Roadmap to Recovery Post Covid” organised by GCCI, the finance minister said that Wednesday was the last day of pre-budget consultations with stakeholders. After hearing to suggestions made by office bearers of GCCI for the upcoming budget, Sitharaman said, “Today in the United States, there is a revival of demand for diamonds and therefore Surat diamond industry even with the pandemic is able to lift its head and do some very quick work.” Seeking suggestions, she said that Surat which is also a hub for textiles and diamonds, cannot be ignored.
Taking about GIFT City, Sitharaman said, “I have been talking to the banking department and to various institutions which are working in the financial sector. Gujarat’s GIFT City will now have a lot more focus from the Indian banks and bring in start- ups which are doing excellent work in fin-tech area.”
She said the Narendra Modi-government was committed to keep up spending on infrastructure development and will tap the 6000-odd brownfield and greenfield projects that the government had made public in December 2019.
For the upcoming Union budget, the president of GCCI, Natubhai Patel made suggestions in Direct Taxes and Indirect taxes to the finance minister. This included reduction in tax rates for non-corporate tax payers which would make it at par with corporate tax payers and allowing Covid care expenses and CSR under Section 37.
He also highlighted the difficulties faced in amendments of core fields with respect to GSTN, constitution of tribunals under GST and difficulties faced by borrowers due to RBI’s circular regarding closure of current account of borrowers by non-lending banks.
The minister assured that the suggestions made by the GCCI will be appropriately addressed by the finance ministry.
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