Assocham on Wednesday appealed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi to support the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) legislation in parliament, and also suggested that the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations be implemented in a staggered manner.
“Let the Pay Commission be staggered over the next few years, or else the benefits derived out of the cut in subsidy on oil, LPG and fertiliser would be wiped off by the extra salary bill,” Assocham president Sunil Kanoria told the media here.
Kanoria said all-out efforts should be made to get the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill — which is pending in the Rajya Sabha — passed in parliament, and urged Gandhi to extend his support to the legislation “which alone can make a huge difference to the business sentiment”.
He said as the entire global economy was on the edge and India may also get a big hit like other emerging economies, the government should “certainly not implement” the Seventh Pay Commission at one go because it would not only ruin the health of the central fiscal structure but also the states which require large allocations for planned development.
“Given the perilous state of financial markets, raising money through disinvestment would be quite difficult for the government, which then is also expecting banks to get some re-capitalisation from the market which is going through one of the most tumultuous times,” he said.
“With the nominal GDP likely to stay muted next year as well, the tax revenue targets cannot be set at ambitious level, while there would be lot more demand for pushing investment. That is why off-budget innovative financial models like the railways have to be found,” he said.