He said the Government is ready with all the backup to roll out the new tax regime but for that to happen, it needs not only the Bill's passage by Parliament but also its ratification by at least half the number of the State Assemblies.
Das, who briefed the Assocham members about the salient features of the Union Budget for 2016-17, said a number of game changing structural reforms have been unveiled by the Finance Minister. These include dismantling the permit raj in the passenger transport sector, easing the renegotiations of the Public Private Partnership business agreements, giving a legal backing to the Aadhar Id. Cards and initiating several dispute resolution mechanisms in taxation.
The Economic Affairs Secretary said the Government has stuck to the path of financial discipline, pegging the fiscal deficit for 2016-17 at 3.5 per cent of the GDP “Why fiscal deficit target is important because it is about credibility of the Government, especially when it had benefitted from low crude oil prices.”
He said the committee on review of the FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) Act would be constituted in a month or so for giving a road map to fix the deficit target in a band rather than to the last decimal figure.
Das said the budget has dealt with several critical sectors giving the first charge to the Agriculture and Rural Economy as people in the rural landscape are in a state of distress because of failure of monsoon for two consecutive years. He said a quantum jump allocation has been given for the rural infrastructure including roads, electricity and irrigation.
Investment in infrastructure would also be revived with the budget announcing a number of initiatives for easing rules in the case of highways and other projects in the PPP model. For instance the budget talks about a system of credit rating wherein the rating would be with reference to particular projects rather than companies. A window has been provided for long term contract renegotiations, Das said. (SH)
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