New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said corruption no longer exists in the Centre, while lauding its proactiveness in implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST), crackdown on excessive cash transactions, benami property, shell companies and so on.
“Corruption in the central government has become a thing of the past. This is happening in states as well. The present government has taken quick decisions whether it is implementing the GST or targeting subsidies are concerned. As far as black money and benami transactions are concerned, it is no more safe in India to deal in excessive cash,” Jaitley said while addressing the 2nd India Investor Summit organised by J.P.Morgan here.
Urging timely filing of the GST, Jaitley stated that assesses should file their returns four to five days prior to the due date to avoid last minute glitches. “India’s confidence as a nation has increased tremendously in the last few years. So far, we have been able to contain the impact of inflation post GST. There has been a positive move towards digitization, and remonetisation has been substantially completed. As far as bringing more items under GST is concerned, I think real estate is the most easy to bring in,” he opined.
Jaitley assured that the economic indicators are being assessed and appropriate action will be taken soon. Adding to this, he said that another agenda being taken into cognizance is excessive lending taken up by banks in the past. Proposal of capital adequacy of the banks is also on the table.
The Centre is also deliberating on the issue of divestment of Air India, for which a meeting is being chaired later in the day, Jaitley stated. “As far as divestment is concerned, we never had any reservations about privatisation. In the last few years, market was quite volatile at times, so the government had to wait for the right time for the divestment. We have an ambitious target for divestment this year. Even today, we have called for an Air India divestment meeting,” he said.
Re-iterating his earlier stance on loan waiver for farmers, Jaitley stated that when any loan waiver being introduced by the States is concerned, they will have to find their own resources to accommodate this.