Rising petrol and diesel prices are hurting industries and it's about time that they should be slashed to give relief to the common man as well industries, said the newly elected president of industry body CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) TV Narendran, who is also chief executive and managing director of Tata Steel Ltd.
Urging the Centre and state governments to take action, Narendran said they both should "discuss and come forward with some balance for rate cut in diesel and petrol."
He also demanded that petroleum products should be brought under the ambit of GST (Goods and Services Tax).
"I do not know what is the problem but the Centre and States should come to an agreement to bring petroleum products under GST. Citing an example of the aviation industry, Narendran said that airlines have to shell 60 per cent of the total cost on ATF and we demand that ATF should be also brought under GST," Narendran told ANI.
Speaking about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on jobs, he cited data that the rural employment rate has leapt from 8% to 14%, which is almost double.
"The cumulative impact of two waves on incomes, livelihoods, and consumer sentiment, coupled with an increase in household medical expenses, are likely to impact consumer demand for some time," the CII president said, adding that the Centre needs to provide some relief by "some short-term and focussed GST rate cuts."
Narendran further stated that by slashing the 2-3% GST rate on consumer goods for six months, the government can give some relief to the people who lost their jobs or faced salary cuts.
"I do not know when those people will see the job recovery who lost their jobs due to pandemic but once construction activity will start and the government will start pushing infrastructure spending, we can see job recovery as most of the medium and small entrepreneurs are linked to the construction industry," he noted. Mooting immediate financial succour to boost the economy, Narendran said the Centre has room to provide a Rs 3 lakh crore stimulus.
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