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Diwali arrived a fortnight before time, says PM on GST tweak

Press Trust of India  |  Dwarka/Chotila/Gandhinagar 

Prime Minister Modi today said yesterday's changes in the regime giving relief to small and medium businesses have been hailed across the country as they kindled the festive mood of a fortnight before it is celebrated.

In his poll-bound home state for a third time in less than a month, Modi launched and inaugurated a plethora of projects, and slammed the party for questioning the state's development model.


He also made a strong pitch for bridging the divide, calling literacy an important element in good governance and transparency.

"Today, I have seen newspapers from across the country. They carry headlines that has come 15 days earlier.

"You all must be busy preparing for Diwali, and in Gujarat, is celebrated with great enthusiasm, especially among businessmen," he told a public gathering in Dwarka from where he started his two-day visit.

Modi said the had earlier stated that it will study the for three months following its implementation and then fix the problems.

"(We had said)...Wherever there are problems in these three months, as in the areas of management, shortage of technology, problems related to rules, complaints regarding rates, trouble in practical experience of business class, we will address it," he said.

Maintaining that he does not want the business class to get caught in red tape, the prime minister said based on the information the had, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley convinced everyone at the Council meet yesterday about the need for altering some of its provisions.

"I am happy that it has been welcomed in one voice across the country," Modi said.

When there is trust in the and honesty is seen behind decisions the country joins in despite difficulties, the prime minister said.

"I can experience this and I am thankful to the people of the country for the way they have welcomed our effort to make simple tax simpler," Modi said.

Three months after the roll-out of the new indirect tax regime, the Goods and Services Tax Council yesterday made sweeping changes to give relief to small and medium businesses on filing and payment of taxes, eased rules for exporters and cut tax rates on more than two dozen items.

Under attack over the model of development, Modi took a swipe at the over economic progress under its governments, saying for them it meant installing a hand pump and asking for votes in return.

"The definition of development has changed. Earlier, leaders used to install a hand pump and ask for vote in its name for three elections," Modi said without naming the

He was addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stone for a greenfield airport at Hirasar near temple town of Chotila in Surendranagar district.

"There is no substitute for development. Everybody, even a very poor person, wants development. If you ask any poor person if he wants a house, he would say yes. You cannot give houses to the poor without development," Modi said.

Earlier, addressing the Dwarka gathering, Modi said, said, "When Madhavsinh Solankiji was (Gujarat) CM, I recall front page advertisements -- 'CM coming to Jamnagar to inaugurate a water tank'. This is how narrow their concept of development was."

"We have come a long way since then and we are looking at more all-round and extensive progress," Modi said.

Addressing a gathering of IIT students in Gandhinagar, the prime minister called for steps to bridge the divide, while emphasising on innovation.

Modi said his has launched a programme under which one member of each of the 6 crore families living in villages would be made digitally empowered.

"In this day and age, we cannot afford to have a divide. If some are empowered in technology and some not, this divide can create a big problem for social harmony," he said, adding literacy was an important element in ensuring good governance and transparency.

The prime minister said his has blended JAM-- Jandhan account, Aadhaar and mobile phone--to ensure people become digitally literate.

Advising the IITs to create a culture of innovation which is need based and not knowledge based, Modi said if innovations are made keeping in mind the needs of people, companies would show interest in buying them.

While opening his speech, Modi remembered his childhood days when he sold tea at the railway station in his hometown Vadnagar. "You all are IITians. But I am the one who is just a 'teaian', a chaiwala" Modi said, evoking laughter from the audience.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, October 07 2017. 21:02 IST
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