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Need to blend subsidy with investment to enhance agri sector growth: Jaitley

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday made a case for blending subsidy with investment to augment farm sector growth and make it sustainable and self-sufficient.
He also said formalisation of the economy has started showing visible result in terms of higher resource mobilisation, leaving more in the hands of the government for the capital formation in various sector.
“There is lot of formalisation of economy taking place in several other sectors… We can see visible results, and it is leading to additional resources in the hands of the government. I don’t think this process will now be reversed,” he said.
As India moves into the situation where governments have more resources, the ability to spend on sectors, which needs maximum support, will obviously rise, he said after releasing a book titled Supporting Indian Farms the Smart Way. Important areas which require investment include physical infrastructure, social sector and farm sector, he said.
“As resources grow, the capital and development expenditure will increase. Hopefully, the resource crunch to spend in these areas will not be there.
This has encouraged us…the government year after year has taken conditional steps in order to make investments in agriculture in terms of subsidy support, price support, crop insurance support or the interest subvention support.
“I do see a point on blending the subsidy support with the investment because, to have a model which sustains indefinitely only on subsidy will not be a sustainable model. Investments will make farm sector self-sufficient on ground. With much lesser subsidies a self-sufficient farmer may be able to serve the cause of Indian agriculture much better,” he said.
Talking about the growth, Jaitley said India has grown at reasonable pace in the last quarter century.
“We have now acquired position when we are growing much faster than the rest of the world and hopefully there are various avenues of further generating this growth. There are regions in the country that have not grown well in the past therefore there is lot of potential for growth,” he said.
Observing that public discourse occasionally gets impacted by populism, he said, good politics has to be blended with sound and rational policy.


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Business

Cabinet clears setting up of centralised GST appellate authority

Agencies

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New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved setting up of a centralised Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (AAAR) under the goods and services tax that would decide on cases where there are divergent orders at the state level.

The setting up of a centralised AAAR would require amendments to the GST Acts. The centralised authority as an appellate body will only take up cases wherein the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) of two states have passed divergent orders.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and comprising state counterparts, in December decided to establish the centralised AAAR.

 

“The Cabinet has cleared the GST appellate authority,” a source said after the meeting of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In view of the confusion created by contradictory rulings given by different AARs on the same or similar issues, the industry had been demanding a centralised appellate authority that could reconcile the contradictory verdicts of different AARs.

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Urbanisation to be big driver of Indian economic growth: Kant

Agencies

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Davos: Urbanisation will be a big driver of economic growth in India going forward, supported by favourable macroeconomic factors, accelerated infrastructure building and continuing reforms, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said.

Speaking here at an event on sidelines of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, he also said the Indian economy may even exceed the IMF growth forecast of 7.5 per cent for the country.

Kant said IMF has forecast 7.5 per cent growth for India despite a gloomy outlook for the global economy and this itself is good, though there are expectations that this estimate would be surpassed. He said India is giving a big push to urbanisation with more than 100 smart cities being developed.

 

The country is also using technology in a big way to change the way business and governance is done, he added. Besides a massive infrastructure building is happening, bank credit flow has rebounded and macroeconomic factors like inflation and fiscal deficit are also being supportive, Kant said.

DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek noted that states are competing with each other to attract investments and all political parties have adopted the economic reform process. He listed various reform initiatives undertaken in India, including on areas like ease of doing business, FDI, manufacturing and taxation.

They were speaking at Institutional investors’ breakfast roundtable, organised by the industry chamber CII and Kotak Mahindra Bank. Other participants included CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee and leaders from Indian and foreign companies.

On questions about some persisting issues in doing business including on tax and insolvency related issues, Abhishek said a lot of efforts have been put in to remove all bottlenecks and starting a business doesn’t take more than a day. Besides, special provisions have been made for startups and angel investors, he added.

Kant said efforts are also being made to remove all physical intervention and digitise the entire process of inter-ministerial and inter-department consultations to fast-track the decisions.

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India will surpass China, says Raghuram Rajan

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Davos: India will eventually surpass China in economic size and will be in a better position to create the infrastructure being promised by the Chinese side in South Asian countries, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said.

Addressing a session on Strategic Outlook for South Asia, Dr Rajan said that the Indian economy would continue to grow while growth rate is slowing down in China.

“Historically, India had a bigger role in the region but China has now grown much bigger than India and has presented itself as a counter-balance to India in the region,” Dr Rajan said at the WEF Annual Meeting 2019.

 

“India will become bigger than China eventually as China would slow down and India would continue to grow. So India will be in a better position to create the infrastructure in the region which China is promising today. But this competition is good for the region and it will benefit for sure,” he said.

The comments assume significance with China working on a lot of infrastructure projects across the region. In 2017, India became the sixth largest economy with a GDP of $2.59 trillion while China was the second large with a GDP of $12.23 trillion.

At the same session, Nepal PM K.P. Sharma Oli cited collaboration with China as well as India as reasons for the economic growth.

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