New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Terming the NDA government “a work in progress”, industry chamber Assocham said on Sunday that “a lot more is required” to be done on the issue of tax disputes, while concerns remain on the massive bad loans incurred by the banking system.
“It would be only fair to call the NDA government as work in progress since it would take time before projects in sectors such as the railways and the highways bear fruit. However, the bigger area of concern, the huge toxic assets of the public sector banks, remains, mainly because of business downturn,” Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry Assocham president Sunil Kanoria said in a statement.
“Lot more is required as far as tax disputes and litigation are concerned,” he added.
Giving the government an overall performance rating of 7 on a scale of 10, Assocham said India’s macroeconomic situation has “certainly been steadied while some bold moves have been made in roads, highways, railways and energy sectors”.
However, it called for an aggressive approach to tackle problems in agriculture and “uplift the country’s vast rural population”.
“The government and the Reserve Bank both need to handle the issue of non-performing assets (NPAs) with extreme care and banks should be empowered to take commercial decisions in the case of stressed assets without any fear of facing reprisals on post-mortem of their actions at a much later date,” Kanoria said.
He also cited the stalling of India’s indirect tax reform, with the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill currently held up in the Rajya Sabha, “which does not appear to be happening any time soon either, given the surcharged political environment and the back-to-back elections in the state assemblies”.
Lauding the Skill India, Start-up India and Jan Dhan initiatives, the statement said: “Much more is required in providing adequate and quality education.
“Besides, public expenditure on health sector needs to go up and dependence on insurance alone would not be sufficient.”