Bringing an end to speculations for the use of taxes collected under the country’s biggest black money disclosure, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley informed that the taxes collected will help to cushion revenue shortfall from the sale of telecom spectrum and help manage the fiscal situation.
In a notable disclosure, undisclosed assets worth Rs 65,250 crore were brought to light during the 4-month one-time compliance window ending September 30, which brought Rs 29,362 crore as taxes, half of it in the current fiscal year.
Last week, India’s biggest auction of telecom spectrum ended with disappointing Rs 65,789 crore, merely 40 percent of the expected Rs 5.6 lakh crore. For this fiscal, government will yield Rs 37,000 crore. Jaitley was speaking to CNBC TV 18 today, when he acknowledged that one category of spectrum, 700 MHz did not find any buyers, but the total amount of radio waves sold was highest ever.
“I am sure eventually managing the fiscal is not going to be difficult. In any case, this year and next year the tax paid out of the IDS (Income Disclosure Scheme) itself gives me a reasonable amount of cushioning,” he added. He proudly acclaimed that BJP-led government in the last two-and-half years has taken various steps to curb black money, and also constituted the Special Investigating Team (SIT) as soon as it assumed office.
“Every decision we have taken is to try and make India through persuasion, through law, through compliance opportunities and even through fear…a tax compliant nation. After all, payment of taxes is necessary if we are to eliminate poverty. Payment of taxes is necessary if rural India is to develop. These are all made for a positive national purpose,” he said.
Talking about Goods and Service Tax (GST), he informed that the target date for rollout of GST is April 1, while he added that the GST council will meet on October 18-20 to discuss ‘possible (tax) rates and bands.’
Jaitley informed that disinvestment proceeds this year, after including into account share buybacks by PSUs, will probably “achieve a much higher disinvestment figure than ever in history”.
On stressed assets with banks, he said the lenders have identified the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) while Government has changed laws, along with change in policies of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) even for transfer management and ownerships.
The cabinet on September 21 had decided uniformly to present the union budget a month in advance from now on to help in completing the legislative approval for the annual spending plans and tax proposals before beginning of the new financial year on April 1.
In addition to this, he announced that Government doesn’t want the presentation of Budget to coincide with the elections in five states. To facilitate early presentation of the budget, the finance ministry had proposed that the Budget Session be convened sometime before January 25, a month ahead of the current practice.
Consequently, preparation for the Budget would start this month and GDP estimates would be made available on January 7 instead of February 7.