Government committed to GST compensation payments to states: Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi [India], August 13 (ANI): The government is an active participant in the recovery process and remains committed to reforms as is evident from a series of tangible steps taken including the passing of seven critical bills related to finance and corporate affairs in the monsoon session of parliament, commitment towards disinvestment and privatization and using technology to improve tax buoyancy, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday.

The minister, who was speaking at the CII Annual Meeting 2021, said that due to the significant buoyancy seen in both indirect and direct taxes so far, supplemented by the likelihood of impressive disinvestment receipts, the government will honour GST compensation payments to the states this year.
On disinvestment, the minister opined that government remains committed to achieving the disinvestment target this year, with the recently passed PSE policy being a game-changer in heralding changes on the privatization front in the future.

However, aside from setting in motion the recovery process, from a medium-term perspective, the minister emphasized that she would like to see India move ahead in the direction of self-sufficiency in a few sectors such as energy.

According to a press release, the minister encouraged private players in building capacity to help the country become Atmanirbhar in renewable energy in order to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.

“Reliance on renewable energy should be such that we are able to produce locally equipment that is needed to generate renewable energy,” she said.

“The Indian economy has benefited from the collective participation, thinking, and coordination of efforts of all the stakeholders. I thank the Indian industry for being level-headed while facing the challenges during the first and second COVID waves,” she added.

She said all sectors of the economy have staged an impressive recovery trajectory on the back of large public sector spending and the government spending has flowed largely into the infrastructure sector, with infrastructure investment being currently at its highest ever in history.

The strong macro-economic fundamentals of the economy are being reflected in the record-high levels of FDI and forex reserves, she said. In the first five months of FY22, the FDI flows were 37 per cent more than the same period last year, while the forex reserves stood at US $620 billion as of July.

“The messages and indications which are coming are very clear that the economy is revving to come out. Indian industry is moving into totally new areas. It is time for the Indian Industry to come around in a big way and it is time to show its risk-taking capacity,” the minister said.

She said the government is always very receptive to hearing new ideas and suggestions from the industry.

The minister said growth will be given priority by both the government and RBI, containment of inflation within the targeted levels through a host of supply-side initiatives will be accorded importance as well. (ANI)
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