ALSO READJAM trinity can cut subsidy burden by 25-30%: Jayant Sinha Jayant Sinha hopes GST gets implemented by 2016 deadline Budget Impact: Emphasis on tax compliance, GST rollout; pet projects get their dues Budget Impact: Hope and disappointment Excise duty on petrol and diesel hiked by Rs 2.25 and Rs 1 a litre
“A series of steps need to be taken for service tax and excise for a smooth GST rollout. We need to make sure goods and services come under the GST regime. Some increase will be required to service tax, to bring it on a par with the revenue-neutral rate. We are working on that,” Sinha said.
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On the need to amend the RBI Act, Jaitley had said in his Budget speech: “We will move the amendments sooner rather than later. You can expect it in a month or two. A number of sections in the Act need to be changed.” He had also announced that the government had concluded a Monetary Policy Framework Agreement with RBI to keep Consumer Price Index (CPI) -based inflation below six per cent over the long term. “We will move to amend the RBI Act this year, to provide for a monetary policy committee.”
On the larger fiscal situation, Jaitley had on Saturday said the government was actively working on plugging leakages in subsidies through various measures, including direct benefits transfers through the ‘JAM trinity’ (Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and mobile payments). “It is possible, through the JAM trinity, to be much more targeted and leakage-proof in subsidy transfers. That will reduce our subsidy burden by 25-30 per cent.” On the Budget announcement of an estimated Rs 28,500-crore proceeds from strategic disinvestment, Sinha said the government was looking at all options, including part-selling stakes in loss-making state-run companies to private investors. Sinha also said the newly announced National Infrastructure and Investment Fund (NIIF) would be a government-run fund but with professionals from the private sector. “NIIF will have an annual flow of Rs 20,000 crore a year. It will be a government fund but managed by professionals from the public and private sectors.”