SME Times News Bureau | 18 Mar, 2019
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said GST introduction
will increase the assessee base in the first twenty-one months of its
implementation by almost eighty percent.
"No taxes have been increased. In fact, after 67 years
of increase, tax rates have moved downwards. In a bold step, spread over five
years, the income up to Rs 5 lakh has been exempt from income-tax. Even
deductions available to the taxpayers have been raised to encourage and
incentivise savings," Jaitley said.
The number of assesses filing returns with reduced tax rates
in income-tax has risen close to double in the five year period, he said.
The GST will increase the assessee base in the first twenty-one months of its
implementation by almost eighty percent, he added.
Jaitley highlighted many steps that the present government has taken in
taxation reforms, to curb black money, enactment of Insolvency and Bankruptcy
Code, demonetisation, steps to check inflation, promoting cooperative
federalism, Ayushman Bharat scheme, social sector investment and infrastructure
development. These, he said, were game-changing decisions.
The first NDA Government took key decisions on infrastructure creation and
prudent fiscal management. Bold policies on telecom and national highways made
significant impact on the economy, he said.
Jaitley said the economy expanded at a rate faster than any other country in
the world. "Our revenues went up and we ensured that the benefit of
prosperity and the first right to the exchequer go to the poor. It will be our
endeavour to maintain this direction in future also".
Launching an attck on the UPA government, he said between 2004-2014, the UPA
got stuck into slogans rather than economic expansion.
They created 'rights' without a major increase in resources being provided to
implement those rights.
"The Government got mired in corruption and wasted its tenure in a coverup
exercise. Prime Minister Modi's Government was elected when India was already a
part of the 'Fragile Five' and the world was predicting that India's 'I' will
be knocked off from the aBRICS'. The Government had no options. It was
committed to reforms. 'Reform or Perish' that was the challenge before the
Indian economy," he added.