Goods and Services Tax (GST)




Cabinet Secretary Shri P.K. Sinha: Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an important milestone in the concept of cooperative federalism where the Centre and the States have come together to address an important national issue of complex indirect tax regime in the country; Successful implementation of GST can lead to this model of cooperative federalism being replicated in other spheres.


The Cabinet Secretary Shri Pradeep Kumar Sinha said that Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an important milestone in the concept of cooperative federalism where the Centre and the States have come together to address an important national issue of present complex indirect tax regime in the country. He said that the successful implementation of GST can lead to this model of cooperative federalism being replicated in other spheres. The Cabinet Secretary Shri Sinha also highlighted that GST reform process would lead to a move from the regime of tax exemptions in various sectors of economy to a regime of seamless flow of credit and payment of tax.

The Cabinet Secretary Shri Sinha was addressing the Seminar being organized by the GST Council in the national Capital today in which more than 400 senior officers including Secretaries of various Ministries/Departments of the Government of India participated. The Seminar was organized to sensitize these officers about the key features of the GST.

Speaking further on the occasion, the Cabinet Secretary Shri Sinha urged the senior officers to be fully prepared for roll-out of GST and to keep in touch with the various stakeholders to address their concerns for smooth implementation of GST.

The Seminar was also addressed by the Revenue Secretary Dr. Hasmukh Adhia. A presentation on the salient features of GST was made by the Chairman CBEC, Shri Najib Shah. The seminar concluded with a vibrant session of ‘Questions and Answers’ in which clarifications were given to many queries particularly pertaining to sectors of exports, transport, real estate, railways and airlines etc.

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FM: Major priority of the present Government is to ensure that benefits of Social Security Schemes reach to every section of workers including those working in the un-organized sector; Holds his Second Pre -Budget Consultative Meeting for the Union Budget 2017-18 with the representatives of different Trade Union Groups in Delhi today.

The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that one of the major priorities of the present Government is to ensure that benefits of Social Security Schemes reach to every section of workers including those working in the un-organized sector. He said that the Government is sensitive about the workers’ welfare and would take all possible measures to ensure that their interest and welfare is fully protected. He said that making social security schemes accessible to the workers of the un-organised sector is a major challenge, which the Government is keen to address at this juncture as the unorganised sector is growing at a faster pace. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley was speaking during his Second Pre -Budget Consultative Meeting for the Union Budget 2017-18 with the representatives of different Trade Union Groups here today.

Speaking on the occasion, the Finance Minister Shri Jaitley further said that the present framework of social security is structured for different groupings –organized, unorganized and those not employed/BPL, which are functional requirements. He said that there is a need to ensure a convergence of benefits for all these groupings, above a minimum threshold.

The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley said that for employment generation, the Government has taken many intiatives like Make in India, Skill India, Mudra Yojana and National Career Service Portal. Along with skill development, identifying labour-intensive industries and new areas where jobs can be created like renewable energy and reusable resources etc. and providing employment linked training can be some of the ways to capitalise on the demographic dividend, the Finance Minister added.

Along with the Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, the Pre-Budget Consultative Meeting with the representatives of different Trade Union Groups was also attended among others by Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Shri Ashok Lavasa, Finance Secretary, Shri Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, DEA, Dr Hasmukh Adhia, Revenue Secretary,Ms Anjuli Chib Duggal, Secretary, Financial Services, Smt. M. Sathiyavathy, Secretary Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr. Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser (CEA), Shri Rajan Kumar, Director General, Labour Bureau, Dr. Pritam Singh, Director (Admin.), NILERD and Shri Manish Kumar Gupta, Director General,V.V. GIri National Labour Institute.

The representatives of various Trade Union Groups who attended the today’s meeting included Shri Tapan Sen, (CITU), Shri Vrijesh Upadhyay (BMS), Shri Ashok Singh (INTUC), Shri D.L.Sachdev & Shri V. S. Giri (AITUC), Shri Harbhajan Singh Sidhu (HMS), Shri Sankar Saha (AIUTUC), Shri S.P. Tiwary (TUCC), Ms. Manali Shah (SEWA), Shri Rajiv Dimri (AICCTU), Shri M. Shanmugam & Shri Jawahar Prasad Singh (LPF), Shri Deepak Jaiswal (NFITU) ,Shri Ashok Ghosh (UTUC) and Shri Uday Patwardhan among others.

Most of the Trade Union representative gave a joint memorandum to the Finance Minister containing suggestions for the forthcoming Union Budget 2017-18. Various suggestions were made by the representatives of Trade Union Groups in the meeting. Major suggestions include that next Budget should help in creation of more jobs/employment opportunities. It was suggested to increase the minimum wages to Rs.18,000. Other suggestions include more focus in the Budget on social security schemes for the workers especially those working in an un-organised sector. It was suggested that same wages be given for same work including in case of those working on contractual basis. Anti-dumping measures especially in metal sector like steel have to taken-up on utmost priority to save the domestic industry from irreparable loss and ultimate closure.

Other suggestions include minimum personal tax exemption limit be raised to Rs. 5.00 lakh and pension for workers be increased from Rs.1,000 to Rs. 3,000 and be given to all kinds of workers. Other suggestions include credit to MSME Sector at 4% as it generates lot of employment; and providing mobile banking facility in rural areas where there is no banks/Post Offices etc. It was also suggested that rates for treatment in case of emergency under CGHS be revised.

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FM: To ensure future increases in agriculture output and farmers’ income by 2022, focus should be on higher agriculture productivity; To increase the price benefits to the farmers, it is necessary that the farmers are provided timely market information and developing software applications, both computer and mobile based, that link farmers to consumers.

The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that in order to ensure future increases in agriculture output and double the farmers’ income by 2022, focus should be on higher agriculture productivity especially in view of the limitation on expanding crop area,. The Finance Minister said it is possible by leveraging technology-especially for high yielding and resistant variety seeds and efficient utilization of water for irrigation, adapt latest IT to increase resilience to nature by phasing sowing, watering and harvesting among others. He said that in order to increase the price benefits to the farmers, it is necessary that the farmers are provided timely market information and developing software applications, both computer and mobile based, that link farmers to consumers. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley was speaking at his First Pre -Budget Consultative Meeting with the representatives of Agriculture Groups here today.

The Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley further said along with use of latest technology to raise productivity, there is also need to revisit the incentive structure of farming, to focus to reduce wastages and enhance earnings as well as to improve marketing of farm produce. The Finance Minister said that for efficient implementation of the National Agriculture Market, there is need to integrate the more than 550 regulated Mandis in the country by 2017 for which the States need to reform the APMC Act.

Along with the Finance Minister Shri Jaitley, the Pre-Budget Consultative Meeting with the representatives of Agriculture Groups was also attended among others by Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Shri Ashok Lavasa, Finance Secretary, Shri Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, DEA, Ms Anjuli Chib Duggal, Secretary, Financial Services, Shri Shobhana K. Pattanayak, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Shri Devendra Choudhry, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Shri Ramesh Chand, Director NCAP, and Dr. Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser (CEA), Shri G. S. Jha, Chairman, Central Water Commission and Shri Suresh Pal, Member, CACP.

The representatives of the different Agriculture Groups present during the meeting included Shri Raju Shetti, President Swabhimani Paksha, Dr. Satya Narayana, Chief Executive, National Cooperative Union of India(NCUI), Shri Venkatrao Nadagouda, Federation of Oilseeds Cooperative Growers of India, Shri D. Vinod Sivappa, President, United Planters Association of South India, Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, Shri Siraj Chaudhary, Chairman & MD, Cargill India Pvt. Ltd., Shri R. Parthasarathy, GIDR, Shri Bojja Dashratha Rami Reddy, Secretary General, Consortium of Indian Farmers Association, Dr. K.V. Prabhu, Joint Director (Research), IARI, Shri Devesh Roy, IFPRI, Shri Ajay Vir Jakhar, Chairman, Bharat Krishak Samaj, Shri Harish Damodaran, Indian Express, Shri Satish Chander, DG, Fertilizer Association of India, Dr. Y. Sivaji, Chairman, Kisan Foundation, Shri Rakesh Kapur, Chairman FAI, Shri Abhijit Sen, CESP, Shri Surjit S. Bhalla, O(X)US Investment and Shri Mukul Maheshwary, Agriculture Farm among others.

Many suggestions were received from the representatives of different Agriculture Groups. Major suggestions include due to demonitisation, there is urgent need to provide sufficient funds to District Cooperative Banks where most of the farmers have their bank accounts, cargo hubs and dry ports should be encouraged in the production centre of agri-products. Other suggestions include it should be made mandatory for Agriculture Universities to start Agriculture Marketing Research Department, new schemes to bail-out farmers from debt be announced in the forthcoming Budget and banks be directed to implement scheme of differential rate of interest to agriculture sector both in letter and spirit among others.

Other suggestions included announcement of awards for those who do new technological innovations in agriculture sector, cold chain provision for horticulture and minor vegetables, higher allocation in Budget for agriculture in the Budget as 52% of India’s population is based on agriculture and allied sector.

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