At a time when general dissent by the opposition parties is at its peak - the winter session of Parliament was badly disrupted - Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha, emphasised that the government is committed to facilitate ease of doing business, rationalise tax structures and ensure business competitiveness is encouraged.
The minister, who was speaking at the Business Today MindRush, was the chief guest and keynote speaker at the event. He said the government is working on three key principles: it is pro-poor, pro-market-competitiveness and it promotes cooperative federalism. He said that the government has worked out a social security safety net for the poor. The NDA government, through various schemes, has managed to open bank accounts for most citizens in the lower strata. The social sector schemes are disbursing payments and subsidies directly into their bank accounts.
"Critics may say that there are no big bang reforms. But I believe that 'big bang', like beauty, lies in the eyes of the beholder," he remarked. He said that the Central government is working with the state governments to improve the ease of doing business. The Indian establishment believes that India may become one of the top 100 countries with respect to the 'ease of doing business' parameter in World Banks annual report. "The target is to get into the top 50," Sinha confidently remarked.
He added that the government is committed to get the Goods and Services Tax (GST) cleared by Parliament. "Through masterful efforts and deft handling of negotiations with most of the states, we were able to build consensus on the GST issue," he said, adding that it was imperative that the principal opposition came on board. "The time has come to pass GST. I implore my colleagues in the opposition to comply," he said.