Government should give relief of at least 25 percent in GST rates: Assocham President Niranjan Hiranandani

The economy is going through a critical phase. The quarterly rate of economic growth has come down to four and a half percent. If industries are complaining about not getting loans from banks, then the government has been making efforts to speed up the economy for the last three months. At such a time, the industry is looking at the government with hopeful eyes. Newly appointed President of the Industry Chamber Assocham, Niranjan Hiranandani, in his first interview after assuming office, said in conversation with Nitin Pradhan, the national bureau chief of Dainik Jagran, that more steps are needed from the government.

Question- How do you see the current economy and what else is expected from the government?

Answer: The government is constantly listening to the industries and is taking steps to handle the economy. In my opinion restructuring of bank loans of industries is the biggest need today. Just as during the financial crisis of 2008, the industries were given more time to get relief in repayment and repayment of debt, similarly industries should get time in the present. Most industries are currently in crisis. Be it automobile, real estate or SME sector. The production capacity of companies has been limited due to lack of demand. The debt that companies had taken for expansion is becoming increasingly difficult to pay. Therefore, it is important that companies should convert these loans into NPAs, before that their restructuring work should be done.

Question- But the government has taken many other measures to give relief to the industries.

Answer – You are right. The government is constantly taking steps, but the situation is still in need of many more relief measures. Whatever the industries have received so far from the government is not enough.

Question- What are your suggestions in this regard?

Answer- I think there is a need to give relief of at least 25 percent in the rate of GST for some time. This relief should be applied not to certain products or services, but to the entire group of GST. This will provide fuel to speed up the pace of the economy. Demand will arise in the economy and its wheel rotation speed will increase. If demand increases, there will be pressure on the supply side as well. I can tell you with confidence that every company is willing to invest. Therefore GST should be relaxed to increase demand.

Question- The problem of the government is that the slow pace of revenue prevents it from taking such steps. He also has to take care of the fiscal balance.

Answer: I believe that the government should not focus too much on its fiscal management. If the government’s fiscal deficit increases, it should be allowed to increase. But the need of the hour today is to speed up the cost of the system. Fiscal deficit is number one. We should focus on enriching the people of our country right now. I would say that the government should increase its targets in the infrastructure sector. For example, the road construction target in the country should be doubled. New government projects should be started. This will not only increase employment, but will also increase demand in other areas which will have a positive impact on the supply side.

Question- Which areas should the government focus on.

Answer- See, there are many areas where if the government increases its focus then its results will be visible in the economy. As I told you, it has the first infrastructure. If the development of housing and urban infrastructure is also included in this, then the economy can be boomed. In addition, the government should focus on the textile sector. Today many of our neighboring countries are overtaking us in the world market in the field of textiles only because of government incentives. Similarly, tourism is an area where we can attract investors from the world to the tourists. This will also provide employment opportunities to the youth of the country. MSME and education and skill are two other areas where the results can be quite positive if the government gives incentives. The government should pay special attention to all these sectors.

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