Revenue buoyancy in indirect taxes weak, need to cut centrally sponsored schemes, says N K Singh

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Published: June 30, 2019 7:01:51 PM

"The central outgo is spread over 700 different outlay schemes. The number of centrally sponsored schemes exceeds 150. We need to thin this spread for better spending. Revenue buoyancy continues to be weak in the area of indirect tax," said Singh, at the SKOCH Summit on 'ModiNomics 2.0' held on Saturday.

Revenue buoyancy, indirect taxes, N K Singh, Fifteenth Finance Commission Chairman, SKOCH Summit, ModiNomics 2.0, NCLATSingh said the quality of compliance is as important as compliance itself. On expenditure, he said there is a long way to go. (Source: Twitter/@NKSingh_MP)

Fifteenth Finance Commission Chairman N K Singh has said the number of centrally sponsored schemes currently exceeds 150 that needs to be reduced for better spending, as revenue buoyancy in indirect taxes remains weak.

“The central outgo is spread over 700 different outlay schemes. The number of centrally sponsored schemes exceeds 150. We need to thin this spread for better spending. Revenue buoyancy continues to be weak in the area of indirect tax,” said Singh, at the SKOCH Summit on ‘ModiNomics 2.0’ held on Saturday.

He said the goods and services tax (GST) needs to be watched carefully in the years to come. Compliance needs to be raised and leakages minimised. “We cannot talk about macroeconomics leaving out important area of deep structural reforms which this economy needs. If the growth rate has been tenuous, we need macro stability but also in terms of reforms which can bring spending, saving and private investment,” he said at the summit which also deliberated on budget wishes and the macroeconomic agenda of the new government.

Also read: Ex RBI deputy governor tells what India needs to do to achieve new growth trajectory

Singh said the quality of compliance is as important as compliance itself. On expenditure, he said there is a long way to go. Former Sebi chairman U K Sinha, who spoke on corporate governance, said Indian has moved from volatile, unpredictable, complex and arbitrary framework and the thinking has now shifted from short term to long term. “People have realised that financial capital is not the only capital of a company. Influence, HR (human resource), and social capital are now being judged by the investors,” Sinha said.

Sinha also added that India ranks higher than the US in terms of shareholder protection and is at par with the world in terms of corporate governance. “We used to think that executive management of a company is responsible for everything. We now have series of examples where the NCLAT (National Company Law Appellate Tribunal) and the SC (Supreme Court) have passed orders against independent directors,” he added.

India has covered a lot of ground but this is demand-led movement. “We haven’t covered the entire ground but my feeling is that shareholders and regulators have continued to be alert and vigilant,” Sinha said.

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