End obstructionism, FM to oppn, announces some concessions
With the land bill being stuck, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday asked opposition to shun politics of "obstructionism" to allow growth as he announced concessions including withdrawl of service tax on social sector schemes and clarified on MAT to boost investment.
Jaitley also promised to unveil soon an "extremely simplied" Income Tax Return (ITR) form for the assesses and camps to ensure expeditious issuance of PAN cards.
He announced that many reforms and expenditure proposals are in the pipeline, which will show impact.
Replying to a debate on the Finance Bill in Lok Sabha which was later passed (rpt) which was later passed, Jaitley sought the cooperation of the opposition for reforms measures like Land Acquisition Bill saying the country needs to take advantage of the global situation to push growth.
"If we can put our house in order and put an end to political obstructionism, if states can come together, that will add to national growth rate," he said.
He said the status quo with regard to the land bill was responsible for the current plight of farmers and landless labour who are dependent on the farming activities.
Land is required to provide affordable housing to farmers, irrigation as well jobs to landless labour, he said.
Referring to opposition by many parties to the land bill, he said half of the 60 per cent village population comprises landless people who will be hurt if the legislation is not passed. In an apparent retort to the "soot-boot ki sarkar" jibe of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Jaitley said his was a "soojh-boojh ki sarkar (wise government)" and added that, "booted hona better hai, booted out hona khatarnak hai (it is better to be in boots rather than be booted out)."
Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge took exception to this comment.
Jaitley sought the cooperation of the opposition for reforms measures like Land Acquisition Bill saying the country needs to take advantage of the global situation to push growth.
“If we can put our house in order and put an end to political obstructionism, if states can come together, that will add to national growth rate,” he said.
He exempted service tax on life insurance business provided under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana as well as on general insurance business under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and the services provided by contribution collecting agencies in the Atal Pension Yojana.
He raised the basic customs duty on natural rubber from 20 per cent or Rs 30 per kg, whichever is lower, to 25 per cent or Rs 30 a kg, which ever is lower.
‘Civil servants should be fearless, understand govt policies’
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said civil servants need to be fearless in decision making and understand government policies, while keeping distance from “political thicket”. The economy and the society have changed “hugely” over the years, he said, adding that civil servants should be fearless and not go only with the trend. “He (civil servant) must have a credibility and an ability to pull along with his team. He must also have a capacity in Parliamentary democracy to understand what the government policy is, how it is to be pursued, and yet maintain a reasonable distance from the political thicket,” Jaitley said.