Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the Modi government could bring in more measures to reinvigorate the sagging economy. The FM, during the HT Leadership Summit in New Delhi, said the Union government had taken many initiatives in August and September. Elaborating on the steps taken by the government, the FM said the public sector banks had disbursed around Rs 5-lakh crore in these two months to boost consumption in the country.
"We are adopting a direct method and also the method through which we are spending on infrastructure, whose spillover can go to core industries labour and so on," the FM said, adding that the government was working on "more" initiatives.
The GDP has been on a downward spiral for the last six quarters. The growth slowed down to more than six-year low of 4.5 per cent in the second quarter of the current fiscal from 5 per cent recorded in the first quarter.
On the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Finance Minister said the GST Council would decide the rate structure. She maintained that eventually, the rates have to be rationalised.
She also said that the Centre government would keep its "compact" with states when it comes to sharing of cess collected through Goods and Services Tax (GST). She said there was a delay in transfer of cess to states as it was not "adequate".
The GST panel is also reportedly planning to introduce several key measures to increase collection, including increasing the 5 per cent tax slab to 6 per cent and raising tax on cigarettes and aerated drinks. The high-powered GST panel is scheduled to hold crucial consultations with states and GST officials on December 18. However, there is no official confirmation in this regard.
Edited by Manoj Sharma