There is still a lot that needs to be done regarding the Goods and Services Tax (GST) reform and the Centre should take lead, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former deputy chairman of the erstwhile Planning Commission.
While replying to questions after delivering the first Abhay Tripathi Memorial Lecture on ‘Economic Reforms: Yesterday Today and India @ 75’ at Marri Chenna Reddy Human Resource Development Centre here on Thursday, Ahluwalia said States should also chip in to make current GST regime “better”.
The Centre has not undertaken any “big bang reforms” so far, he said. “We are making a mistake by increasing the customs duties when they should be brought down.” Many procedures were still complex and procedural changes had to be brought, he said. The dual regulation of public sector banks should go and only RBI should regulate them, not the Ministry of Finance, Ahluwalia said. While delivering the lecture, he said India’s policies should be aligned closely with global development with an underlying belief in an open economy. “We still have a long way to open up and we should remain open and resist temptation to impose protective tariffs,” he added.
The economic rise of China, the impact of the pandemic and Russia -Ukraine war are some of the key issues which need to be kept in mind while framing economic policies, Ahluwalia said. Recalling his association with Abhay Tripathi, Somesh Kumar, Chief Secretary to Government of Telangana, said Tripathi would always be remembered for the excellent work he had done as collector of Nizamabad decades ago and his impeccable integrity. “He was also closely associated with the introduction of VAT, national defence college and was always interested in capacity building,” the Chief Secretary said. Abhay Tripathi (1961-2021) was an IAS officer of 1986 batch of Andhra Pradesh cadre and served in various key positions in the State government and Government of India.