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GST Can Be Brahmastra For India, Says Asssocham President Kanoria
As the winter session of Parliament began on Thursday amid fears of disruption by opposition, trade body Assocham pitched for quick passage of the Goods and Service Tax Bill, saying that it would send a strong signal to investors that India's economy can overcome serious global and domestic challenges with political will
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As the winter session of Parliament began on Thursday (26 November) amid fears of disruption by opposition, trade body Assocham pitched for quick passage of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill, saying that it would send a strong signal to investors that India's economy can overcome serious global and domestic challenges with political will.
"GST can be a "Brahmastra" for the Indian economy against a very difficult global economic scenario, affected by demand slowdown, uncertain geo-political situation after the Paris terror attacks, and an unprecedented crash in vital commodities,'' said Assocham president Sunil Kanoria.
"GST will harmonise indirect taxes by doing away with multiplicity of taxes. It will also reduce cost of production, which will be then passed on consumers, thus lowering inflation. More striking would be the display of a political unity and the will to rise up to national cause. That will be a great positive for revival of investment, both domestic and international, something most needed at this point of difficult international times," he added.
He further said that the very fact that we are tolerating the intolerance itself is an adequate proof to say that we are a tolerant country.
Our GDP growth can rise by 1 to 1.5 per cent by GST alone, going up to 9 per cent by 2018-19 from the present estimated 7.3 per cent if the government gives massive thrust to infrastructure development, he added.
Kanoria said: "If the Congress or any other national or regional party has some specific concerns, the government should look into the same and address it as far as possible."
On the present state of the economy, the Assocham president said one of the main worrying aspects is lack of appetite for fresh investment which is further discouraged by lack of demand as is evident from the latest IIP numbers showing the slowest growth industrial output in four months (3.6 per cent) during September.
Kanoria said that the critical challenge was to generate jobs for the one million Indians joining the workforce every month. The only way out was "Employment promotion through entrepreneurship."
Recent spurt in pulses (53 per cent) and onion prices (85 per cent) even on a wholesale price index, spells out an urgent need for a holistic approach on food production and management and how the entire rural economy should be well integrated with the rest of the economy, he said.
He emphasised the need to remain vigilant with regard unfolding geo-political situation after the Paris terror attack and continuous problems in China.
"We need to give a lot of credit to RBI for ensuring stability in the foreign exchange rates even as most of the currencies of the emerging economies have seen sharp erosion," he added.