Govt seeks to engage itself with businesses, industries, says FM

PTI Kolkata | Updated on February 09, 2020 Published on February 09, 2020

Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman receives a bouquet from Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes Pramod Chandra Mody during an interactive session on the Union Budget 2020-2021, in Kolkata, on February 9, 2020. Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey is also seen.   -  PTI

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said that the government wants continuous engagement with industries and businesses and will act as a facilitator for hassle-free payments of taxes.

She was interacting with the members of trade and industries here, a week after presenting the Union Budget for 2020-21 in Parliament on February 1.

“The broad message which is apparent is that the government wants continuous engagement with industry and business. And my presence here is not in response to what is happening inside (country) and outside,” Sitharaman said.

She said the Centre has introduced some features in the budget like “faceless appeals and sorting out of problems while imparting tax administration“.

Sitharaman said this would be made possible only with the help of new technology.

“Over the years, we had to remove all the deadwood gathered with a pincer. This will help the government to fulfil its commitments made in the budget,” she said.

GST issues

Referring to issues relating to GST, the finance minister said it is not the Centre to initiate steps for reduction of rates, the state ministers should also represent cases so that synergy could be built.

Responding to Tea Board chairman P K Bezbaruah’s remarks on the scarcity of ATMs in the tea belts of Assam and West Bengal for which “cashless wage payments are becoming a problem”, the finance minister said the government is willing to set up ATMs in pockets where there are none.

“I know that the number of ATMs is minuscule in the tea growing regions. The government is ready to set up such facilities in these areas,” she said.

Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar said that “there is a need for credit off-take to pick up for genuine businesses.

“Commercial lending has to go up. The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has already appointed a committee to differentiate between genuine business failure and a fraud,” he added.

Published on February 09, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.