Govt’s performance not dependent on GST: Piyush Goyal

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Discussing the Modi government’s efficiency in the Parliament, the Power and Coal Minister, Piyush Goyal said that the government was able to get five of the six ordinances cleared.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill will not stall the government’s performance, the Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18’s Pallavi Ghosh, Goyal said: “GST is not the only way we can get growth.”

The government is committed towards a simplified tax regime and finding ways to make business easier in the country. Goyal is confident that the government will achieve double digit growth by next year.

Discussing the government’s performance so far in the Parliament, Goyal said that the government has been able to get five of the six ordinances cleared that have been converted into laws. These include the Mines and Minerals Regulation Development Act.

Goyal said that certain government-driven projects are stressed.

“However, in terms of private procurement of land, I think most people recognised the fact that private sector is able to get land far easier without government intervention than through government intervention,” he said.

The Land Bill has not been put on hold due to the upcoming Bihar elections, he added.

Below is the transcript of Piyush Goyal’s interview with Pallavi Ghosh on CNBC-TV18.

Q: How has the government performed so far?

A: Out of the six ordinances, five got cleared. It is only the land ordinance that didn’t get cleared. So, they also recognised that there was a sense of urgency. This government believed in performance and five of those ordinances have been converted into law including the coal mines auction; including the Mines and Minerals Regulation Development Act. All these steps that have got done are being looked at with great deal of appreciation.

On the land score there may be certain projects which are largely government driven, where there could be some stress. However, in terms of private procurement of land, I think most people recognised the fact that private sector is able to get land far easier without government intervention than through government intervention, so we are not particularly stressed about.

Q: When the Prime Minister had a meeting with certain Indian Inc representatives recently the word which was coming out of the meeting is that they were really concerned that we do want to bring up all those infrastructural projects, the new ones but how come we do it because where are we going to get the land from?

A: I don’t think I was there in that meeting and I don’t think anybody raised the issue of any stress which is related to land acquisition. In fact, many states which are progressive, many states which believe in passing on the benefits of acquisition of land to the framers, which we were hoping to be able to do through the central law are now doing it at their end.

States like Maharashtra and Haryana which are under the erstwhile regime did not even follow what was planned by the central government in terms of four times the value of land by way of compensation, are now doing it under a BJP led government.

Q: Have you put the Land Bill on hold for now because of the Bihar elections is that also one factor?

A: This has nothing to do with elections. This government works for long-term. There were certain wrong impressions and perceptions created. I am sure when the people of India recognise and realise that perception was wrong we could possibly look at getting that.

Q: It will also be too late by then?

A: None of our activities are stalled in the meantime.

Q: What about the goods and service tax (GST) bill even that doesn’t seem to be?

A: GST was a reform which should have helped to spur growth. However, it is not the only way that we can get growth. Now we are looking at ways by which we can continue to make business easier in India. Continue to simplify the tax regime; we could look at direct taxes on their own, we could look at indirect taxes standalone.

The United States of America doesn’t have GST. All of Europe has different tax rates across countries, which in some sense is like a union. So, I don’t think that GST by itself is as urge shattering as is being made out to be.

Q: So you are okay if the GST bill does not get pass?

A: Even if that doesn’t get passed, this governments performance will not get stalled. We will continue to aim for double digit growth. Personally, I am very convinced that we will achieve double digit growth by next year.

Source: http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/economy/govt-driven-land-projects-under-stress-piyush-goyal_3229581.html

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