Leading retail brokerage firm HDFC Securities today said that benchmark Nifty index is expected to hit 9,000 level by Diwali and is also likely to generate double digit returns at 12-14 per cent, this year. The optimism is based on government's continued efforts towards structured reforms including roll out of the goods and services tax (GST), which according to the brokerage is likely to be implemented by mid-year. "I believe the Nifty will hit the 9,000-level by Diwali (October 19, 2017) on account of structured reforms like demonetisation, GST and aided by normal monsoon," HDFC Securities managing director and CEO Dhiraj Relli told PTI here. The NSE 50-share Nifty index is currently trading at 8,200-level. Relli also said that Nifty can be expected to generate double digit returns (12-14 per cent), in 2017. Noting that demonetisation will cause only "short term pain and long term gain", Relli said that the situation in the economy should normalise by February-end. He also said that the adverse effects of the note-ban move would only be limited to growth numbers in the third and the fourth quarter of the current fiscal, he added. Observing that GST is likely to be implemented in June, this year, the brokerage said, "For stock market investors, GST matters because many listed businesses (assuming they are tax compliant) will get long term boosts via ease of compliance plus competitive advantage as unorganised competitors fall into the indirect tax net." "Auto components, FMCG, retail, appliances, paints, construction material firms are direct beneficiaries," it added. Further, on the upcoming union budget, the brokerage expects the government roadmap and allocations under GST; to simplify norms related to tax compliance to promote ease of doing business as well as lower the corporate tax rates. It also said that the budget is likely to include fiscal boosters such as higher spending on rural India - roads, irrigation, healthcare, sanitation and rural housing. Moreover, the government could also lower personal income tax as well as give incentives for housing spend.