PM hints at more measures for businesses on GST, crackdown on benami properties

New Delhi: Promising more measures to ease problems faced by small businesses due to GST, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said a committee of state ministers has accepted most of the suggestions made by them and an announcement is likely in the GST Council meet next week.

The GST Council had announced several measures to ease problems faced by businesses last month.

The next meeting of the Council headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state finance ministers is scheduled to meet on November 9 and 10 in Guwahati.

Speaking at an event to mark massive jump by India in World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking, Modi said the GST Council had set up panels of state ministers and officials as some of the states had expressed reservation on certain issues.

Modi said a group of state ministers was constituted to look into the issues raised by businesses and small traders, and they have “positively accepted” most of the suggestions.

The recommendations of the panel will be accepted at the next meeting of the GST Council on November 9 and 10 if no state raises objections.

Referring to the the World Bank’s ranking, the Prime Minister said the latest report did not take into account implementation of GST.

“As you all know, GST is the biggest tax reform in the Indian economy. And it impacts many aspects of doing business.

With GST, we are moving towards a modern tax regime, which is transparent, stable and predictable,” he said.

There are many other reforms which have already happened, but need gestation and stabilisation time, before they are taken into account by the World Bank, he said.

“There are a few other reforms where our team and the World Bank team need to find common ground. All this, combined with our conviction to do even better, gives me the confidence that India will occupy a place of pride in the World Bank report next year and in the years thereafter.

Modi said efforts are on to create a NEW INDIA, where opportunities are created and harnessed to the advantage of the needy.

Modi hints at crackdown on benami properties

Sundernagar/Kangra (HP):Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hinted at a crackdown on ‘benami’ properties, and said the Congress is worried as such assets of its leaders will not be spared in his government’s action.

Launching a stinging attack on the opposition party over corruption at an election rally in Sundernagar, Modi said the Congress’ campaign against demonetisation was driven by its attempts to mislead the people and create an atmosphere against him before he can raise a “storm” over benami assets.

“The time has come to return to the poor what had been robbed of them…. I am going to create a situation that they (Congress leaders) would not be able to reclaim their benami assets,” he said.

Heaping scorn on the Congress over its decision to observe the first anniversary of demonetisation on November 8 as black day, he said it was actually “blackmoney day” for the opposition party.

“I tried to get some information from Congress leaders…

some (Congress leaders) lost their bags of Rs 500 notes, some of Rs 1000 notes. In the meantime, Modi has come with benami law. Their worry is that Modi will start showing results.

“Their worry is that the benami assets like land, flats, shops they have kept hidden like Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes are not going to be spared. Therefore, they are creating an atmosphere so that before Modi raises a storm over benami assets, they observe blackmoney day and mislead the people,” he said.

In a ‘benami’ property, the person who pays for it buys it in the name of some other person.

There would be many Congress leaders, the prime minister claimed, who would have purchased assets like cars and houses in the names of their drivers and cooks.

He would tell these people that they should not return them to these leaders if they are asked to transfer their ownership, Modi said.

“I am going to create a situation that they would not be able to reclaim it. This is people’s money. This has been robbed of the masses and would be used for their welfare,” he said.

People had given him power in 2014 to fight corruption and he would continue to do so, Modi said.

Mocking at the Congress’ campaign against demonetisation, he said that God gives at times the opposition party “wisdom” which comes to his use.

Referring to alleged scams that happened under the UPA, he questioned the Congress’s “audacity” to observe ‘black day’ on November 8.

On the issue of honesty, Indians would not trust the Congress even after 100 years, such are its “sins”, he claimed.

Earlier at a rally in Kangra, Modi likened the Congress to termites, and exhorted the people to finish it off by handing over three-fourths majority to the BJP in the November 9 Assembly election.

He said the opposition party would observe “blackmoney day” on November 8 and burn his effigies as it was angry with his fight against corruption.

Modi claimed that the poor and the middle class were back to work but the dishonest people were angry with him and wanted to seek revenge from him as he forced them to deposit their bagfuls of cash with banks.

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