Far Flung Areas in North East to Get Greater Access to Credit: Nirmala Sitharaman
GUWAHATI: Far flung areas in North East will be given greater access to credit, with adequate number of ATMs and branches says Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while addressing the trader and industry representatives in Guwahati on February 27.
Talking about the recent budget Sitharaman said that the budget should not be confined to the parliament. It should meet the expectation of the common man and industry representatives. For this purpose after tabling the Union Budget, a series of financial inclusion outreach programmes are being done in different states, she said. Government is committed to build an India where we can trust our entrepreneurs she added.
While addressing the gathering the Union Finance Minister stressed on the need for simplification of direct tax regime, the need for removal of exemption, reduction of income tax rates and decriminalisation of tax laws. With regard to GST the Finance Minister assured the delegates that the issue of delayed refund of CGST and IGST would be addressed on priority.
The Union Finance Minister further said that the present Union Government went through existing income tax framework, nearly 70 exemptions were removed. Government is trying to simplify the taxation structure. As a part of it we removed MAT and Dividend Distribution Tax she added. The government is committed to steadily move towards less regressive regime and help to close all disputes pertaining to taxation.
While speaking to the industry representatives the Finance Minister said that traditional industries in the North East should have facilities to exhibit itself and want the region to benefit from that. To achieve this Self Help Group will be given greater access to credit to supplement the economy.
The Finance Minister said that government is working to remove the criminal angle in business transaction. Speaking on Vivaad Se Vishwass scheme she said that if any settlement is done, no prosecution will be initiated. Replying to the quieries of traders and industry representatives the Finance Minister informed that between 1st to 15th March for 2 hours every day, each district office of Central Board of Indirect Tax and Custom remains open and the staffs will be available for any tax related clarification to general public.
With regard to development of infrastructure, the Union Finance Minister stated that setting up more cold storage facilities was a priority of the government. It was stated that Sibsagar in Assam has been identified as one of the five archaeological sites to be developed as iconic sites.
During the second session the Union Finance Minister along with the Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal and the State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma interacted with Academicians, Economists & policy experts. Talking on the occasion Sonowal said that the Budget is a boon for farmers with 60 new schemes under aspirational India initiatives, which reflects Prime Minister’s desire to double farmer’s income by 2020.
Jal Vikas Marg scheme of the government will not only help economy of Assam but for the entire country he added. He further thanked the Finance minister for taking various initiatives for reducing corporate tax and bringing in ease of doing business.
Speaking about the MSME’s the Union Finance Minister said that several steps have been taken to help MSME’s. Stressed MSME’s have the opportunity to approach the public sector banks and request them to restructuring. Sitharaman informed that the time limit for this has been extended till 31st December 2020.