Showing posts with label ARUN JAITLEY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ARUN JAITLEY. Show all posts

Mahamilawat or Gathbandhan – A Race to the Bottom , by Arun Jaitley

India is today at the cusp of making history. Industrial revolutions bypassed us in the past. We had to fight the menace of poverty and lack of growth. A regulated economy for over four and a half decades had added to our woes. When we broke away from ideological shackles of the past, India has witnessed a much higher rate of growth. Today we have reached a situation where we grow faster than others in the world. We are expanding the size of our economy. Our revenues are growing and we are finally being able to transfer more resources to the poor to offer them a better quality of life. Our infrastructure in terms of better highways, more airports, better railway systems, better urban infrastructure, surplus power, more port capacity, are growing every year. If this trend continues for the next two decades, India would evolve into a new league.

Piyush Goyal given additional charge of finance ministry in Arun Jaitley's absence

NEW DELHI: Piyush Goyal is likely to present the interim Budget on February 1 as he was on Wednesday given the additional charge of finance ministry as Arun Jaitley is in the US for medical treatment, sources said.

Jaitley has undergone surgery at a hospital in New York on Tuesday and has been advised at least two weeks rest by the doctors, sources said. Jaitley, who had travelled to the US on January 13, has undergone tests for soft tissue cancer this week.

An official release from the Rashtrapati Bhavan Wednesday said the President, as advised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, directed that during the period of Jaitley's indisposition, the portfolios of the minister of finance and the minister of corporate affairs, held by him, be temporarily assigned to Goyal, in addition to his existing portfolios.

The Oil Prices and the Hypocrisy of the Opposition by Arun Jaitley

The challenges thrown up by the increase in the international price of crude oil cannot be resolved by either the tweets or television bytes of some opposition leaders. The problem is serious. The oil producing nations have capped their production, thus creating a demand-supply mismatch.

The political crisis in Venezuela and Libya has adversely impacted the production in those countries. The US sanctions on Iran have increased the uncertainty towards Iran’s supplies to its buyers. The commercial supply of shale gas, which was intended to balance the high crude oil cost, is running behind schedule.

The high cost of crude oil has also impacted the currency situation. India’s macroeconomic fundamentals with regard to its fiscal deficit, inflation, foreign exchange reserves etc. are fairly stable. Tax collections are encouraging. However, a high cost of crude oil adversely impacts the Current Account Deficit. That, in turn, impacts the currency. Additionally, the hardening of the dollar has further impacted most global currencies. Both the above factors have an impact on the cost of fuel available to a citizen.

The cost of crude increased in the month of April and May. Thereafter, it softened a bit and then increased to its highest level in the past four years. The cost of oil does not move in a straight line. Depending on the global factors, it increases or decreases. A section of the media excessively reports the increase when the prices rise and blackout the reductions when prices fall. Government critics rejoiced the political consequences of the increase of the crude prices. This was evident from their comments. When the price was reduced yesterday, the critics did a volte face and argued that this is bad economics. Let me categorically assure all that there is no going back on deregulation of oil prices. Even Rahul Gandhi, whose party had inflicted a double digit inflation on India during the past five years of UPA-II, gave television bytes and released tweets advocating a price reduction.

The NDA Government has an exemplary record of fiscal prudence. We have maintained the gradual glide path since 2014 to bring down fiscal deficit. We will continue to do so.

No Government can be insensitive towards its people. In the last four Budgets, the Modi Government, to the section of small and middle tax-paying population, has consistently given some direct tax relief each year. The cumulative effect of these income-tax concessions already given is Rs.97,000 crores each year. The reduction of GST rates in the first 13 months itself with regard to 334 commodities has given a Rs.80,000 crore annual relief to the consumer. Last year, in the month of October, when the oil prices were rising, the Centre cut down its excise duty by Rs.2. We have requested the States to make a similar cut. Most of the BJP-NDA States did so. The others refused to do so. I had always maintained that in extraordinary situation, the capacity of an economy to give relief will depend on it’s fiscal strength. In view of the increase, particularly in the direct tax revenue, the Centre decided to give between central excise and the absorptions by the OMCs, a Rs.2.5 relief to the consumer. We requested the States to give a similar relief.

The Centre’s oil tax revenues remain static. The Centre charges a fixed amount. What the Centre gets as tax revenue, 42% of it is passed on to the States. The States independently charge their VAT. The average VAT rate in the country is about 29%. Thus, the States were getting 29% of the lower cost price a few months ago. They now get 29% on the increased price. The States benefit from higher oil prices. The Centre’s collection remains the same. Thus, the capacity of the States to give a Rs.2.5 benefit is within their capacity. Their extra tax collection, because of increase in oil prices, is much larger since their taxes are ad valorem. Yet we have a situation where a number of non-BJP non-NDA States have refused to pass on any benefit to the consumer. What are the people supposed to conclude? Are Rahul Gandhi and his reluctant allies only committed to tweets and television bytes when it comes to give relief to the common man? Depending on the ad valorem rate of VAT in the States and after collecting the VAT and getting 42% of the Centre revenue, 60-70% of the total oil tax goes to the States. Must not the non-BJP States be candid with the people and tell them that both in 2017 and 2018 they refused to give any relief to the people even from their higher revenues. They sent out tweets and gave television bytes but when it came to performance, they looked the other way.

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7th Pay Commission: Govt May Take Final Call On Pay Hike In January

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government is likely to take a final decision on pay hike better than the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations in January for 1 crore central government employees and pensioners.The assurance has been given to this effect by a top finance ministry official on condition of anonymity.

The central government employees unions’ leaders argue that the current minimum pay Rs 18,000 is not enough to live on. They also say that raising it might also be beneficial for reducing the pay gap, The pay gap between the highest maximum pay and the lowest minimum pay in the 7th Pay Commission recommendations is 1:14, which was 1:12 in the 6th pay scale.

The pay gap has long inspired debate. Some argue it’s a myth. Others say it is misleading.

Govt detects Rs 19,447 cr in undisclosed foreign accounts: Jaitley

The Income Tax department has detected Rs 19,447 crore of credit in undisclosed foreign accounts including HSBC, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley informed the Lok Sabha on Friday.