GST is Modi Govt.'s 'biggest achievement': ASSOCHAM

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With the roll out of the 'revolutionary' Goods and Services Tax bill scheduled for July 1, the ASSOCHAM has perceived this as the present government's 'biggest achievement', facilitating digitisation, financial and inclusion, while public investment on railways and power distribution infrastructure is set to change the structure of the economy, the chamber said.

The ASSOCHAM noted that benign inflation, both at the retail and wholesale levels, is among the other positives for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.

The fall in inflation was aided by a sharp correction in international commodity prices and good monsoon in the last season.

As the price rise remained within the target of four per cent as set by the Reserve Bank of India ( RBI), the Central bank has also been able to keep the interest rates low, though the credit off-take in the private sector still remains a challenge.

Prices of pulses, onion and other essential commodities, which used to hit the headlines, have come down significantly in the last 12-18 months, the chamber noted.

"The implementation of GST in the next few weeks would cap other major initiatives of the government. The focus on improving ease of doing business through measures like GST and other taxation reforms has also been noted as one of the major achievements of the NDA Government," said Sandeep Jajodia, President-ASSOCHAM.

Clean-up of the subsidy disbursal, which had reached the proportion of a bottomless pit, is yet another big plus of the government which is pursuing linkages of Aadhar ID with every bank account holder.

Complemented with a favourable decline in the crude oil prices, elimination of subsidy on petrol and diesel and significant reduction in other fuels including cooking gas, have brought a great improvement in the balance sheets of the oil marketing companies.

The chamber also highlighted that India's foreign exchange reserves are valued at USD 372 billion, thus facilitating a drop in inflation rates as the rupee is strengthened.

Owing to several measures directed at increasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in key areas like defence, insurance and infrastructure, the country has received record net FDI of USD 100 billion in the last three years, while foreign funds are pumping in huge liquidity in the stock market.

Riding on ample liquidity and confidence of the global fund managers, India's market capitalisation has crossed a massive USD two trillion, the chamber added. (ANI)
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