Reform process to continue, says finance ministry

New Delhi, Oct 13 (IANS) Citing India’s improved index of industrial production (IIP) in August, the finance ministry said on Tuesday that reform measures would continue to give a boost to economic activity.

“Improved IIP numbers are encouraging. Reform measures will continue. GST and Bankruptcy law are on top of reform agenda,” tweeted Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.

The acceleration in manufacturing and mining sectors’ output speeded up India’s factory expansion growth to 6.4 percent in August, from 4.1 percent in the month before, official data showed on Monday.

In a move to engage with stakeholders and invite public comments on Goods and Services Tax (GST) issues, the government said on Sunday that draft business processes on GST registration, refunds and payments have been put on the web and comments invited through the portal.

A finance ministry statement had said that the government intends to introduce, at the earliest, the GST, which seeks to create a single Indian market by subsuming most indirect taxes levies of central and state governments, such as excise duty, service tax and value-added tax, so as to facilitate tax compliance, and curb inflation through better supply chains.

The government has set the target to reform India’s indirect tax regime from April next year.

But securing legal sanction for GST is proving a lengthy process, given the Narendra Modi government’s inadequate strength in the upper house as bill being a constitution amendment bill, needs passage in parliament with two-thirds majority, following ratification by at least 15 state legislatures, before it can be sent to the president for his assent.

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