Unfazed by the Opposition attack over demonetisation and GST, Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to continue the process of taking “important decisions” regarding the reforms as he asserted that the economy is on track after “hardcore” decisions.
He also reached out to traders over GST, assuring them that their past records will not be checked by the Income Tax department if they join the formal economy by getting themselves registered under the new tax regime. “After all reforms and hard decisions, the economy of the country is on track and is going in the right direction,” Modi, who was on a day-long visit to Gujarat, said addressing a rally here.
“Many economists have agreed unanimously that the fundamentals of the economy are strong,” he added.
He was apparently answering the critics in the Opposition and Yashwant Sinha of his own party, BJP, who have been saying that the economy is in a bad state.
“If we have a look at the figures which have come recently, the production of coal, electricity, natural gas and other items has increased tremendously. Foreign investors are making record investments in the country. The foreign exchange reserves of the country have reached 40,000 crore dollars from 30,000 crore dollars,” Modi said.
“We have taken important decisions regarding reforms and this process will continue. Financial stability of the country will be maintained while initiating reforms. We will take all necessary steps to increase investments and bring in the economic development,” the prime minister said.
The Opposition parties have been attacking the government over demonetisation and GST, which was rolled out on July 1.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had attacked Modi during his recent campaign tour in Gujarat, after the growth rate slipped to 5.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2017-18.
Talking about GST, Modi said the number of traders joining the new indirect tax regime is increasing day by day.
“In the last few months, 27 lakh additional people have registered themselves for this indirect tax… No businessmen wants to indulge in tax evasion. But tax rules, system, tax officials and even politicians are forcing them to do it,” he said.
“I know, that those who are joining have fear that their past records will be checked. I assure you that no tax officials will be allowed to open past records of those who want to come in the mainstream,” the prime minister declared.
He said that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has stopped corruption at check posts on borders of each states.
“The GST has eliminated check posts on borders. Trucks do not have to wait for days and corruption at check posts has stopped. Now, those who used to take contracts for ensuring passage of your trucks through the check posts are naturally very angry with me,” Modi said.