New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the government is working towards ensuring maximum value, empowerment and technological penetration among masses through the trinity of Jan Dhan-Aadhar-Mobile (JAM).
“JAM for me is Just Achieving Maximum – maximum value, maximum empowerment to people and maximum technological penetration among masses… Indian economy is doing better than when we took over 17 months ago. GDP growth is up, inflation is under control, revenues are up, interest rate is down, fiscal deficit is down and rupee is strong,” Modi said while inaugurating the sixth Delhi Economic Conclave (DEC), organised by the Finance Ministry.
Pointing out that bringing in ‘reforms to transform’ the country is ‘marathon and not sprint’, Modi said that even as the world economy is not doing well, the government has initiated a series of well-thought policies along with embarking on fiscal consolidation.
“There are two issues – reforms for what… is it just to increase the GDP growth or bring about a transformation in the society…. secondly reforms for whom – to impress a group of experts or reforms that help all citizens to achieve better life.”
“He said the government aims to empower the poor, as “empowering the poor is far more effective than empowering poverty-alleviating industry”.
Modi said that by the Jan Dhan initiative, the government has brought 119 million people in the banking system. “These accounts have almost Rs 26,000 crore or $4 billion… Indian banks have been encourage for mobile ATMs…today 36 per cent debit card are RuPay cards,”he said. Under the MUDRA scheme, banks have provided more than six million loans of Rs 38,000 crore or $6 billion to the small business units so far, he said.
On tax reforms, he said that electronic filing of returns now covers 85% of all tax returns. Earlier, electronic returns had to be followed by a paper verification which used to take weeks to be processed.
He said the I-T department will introduce a system of online scrutiny of returns and modify the performance appraisal proforma of officials with a view to motivating them to pass correct orders and also check corruption. Modi said this year, 91 per cent of electronic returns were processed within 90 days as compared to 46 per cent last year.
Modi said that the performance appraisal system for Income-Tax Officers would be changed to reflect, whether or not the officer”s orders and assessments have been upheld on appeal. The Income Tax department will move to a system where not only returns but also scrutiny is done without having to go to the tax office. “Queries could be raised and answered online or by email with a visible electronic trail of what is pending with whom, where, and for how long. This is being piloted in five big cities,” he said.