Nirmala Sitharaman said confidence in the Indian stock market is growing as retail and small investors are keenly investing money in the share market.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the Indian economy is on a sustained path of revival and cited rise in GST collections and direct taxes to support her assertion.
She further said that the confidence in the Indian stock market is growing as retail and small investors are keenly investing money in the share market.
“I can see very clearly signs of revival and good signs of revival. Otherwise my revenue collection would not be where it is, both the GST and direct taxation,” said Ms. Sitharaman while replying to a question on whether the economy has come back on track and has picked up pre-pandemic speed.
She said the half-yearly target has already been achieved in direct taxes.
“And GST’s collections on an average per month is somewhere in the range of ₹1.11 lakh crore and ₹1.12 lakh crore. Probably it can safely be said it will be somewhere in the range of ₹1.15 lakh crore per month,” she disclosed.
“These are not small indicators, these are not some sporadic indicators. They clearly show that the economy is on a sustained path of revival,” she said.
To a question on the stock market, she said the market has its own understanding of what it deals with the companies.
The Finance Minister said there is transparency in the listing process of companies and related regulations.
She said “today retail and small investors are taking keen interest in the stock market and investing in it. Earlier, retail investors were participating through mutual funds”.
“Now they are going through mutual funds and also go directly and participate (invest in stock market) through demat accounts. Therefore, today interest in the stock market is growing and more investment is taking place and more retail investments are taking place and all it is happening in a transparent manner,” she said.
“As a result, confidence in the Indian stock market is growing,” she stated.
To a question on demonetisation whether the step was able to check fake currency, she replied, “definitely, control over fake currency was brought.”
“Notes of two denominations were removed from the system” and black money and fake currency have definitely been stopped, the Minister stressed.
“…That it had a bearing on terrorism, terror funding,” she said.
Replying to a question on whether petrol and diesel would be brought under the GST, Ms. Sitharaman said at the time of implementation of GST, the central and State governments had included petrol and diesel in it.
“There is a provision in the GST law that petrol and diesel can be in GST,” she said.
“…when the (GST) Council decides that it is to be brought in at a certain rate and after determination of rate that would also be added. There is no new amendment to be made in the GST law for petrol and diesel. But the Council has to decide when to bring in and at what rate,” she noted.
Ms. Sitharaman further said that the government was committed to double the farmers’ income.
Earlier in her introductory remarks, Ms. Sitharaman said under the present government, there is a consistent philosophy which governs its economic activities. “And that philosophy is ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayaas’,” she said, while touching upon big transformational changes in Indian economy which were touching every section of society.
With challenges thrown by COVID pandemic, she said the industries are also changing the way they do business.
“There is a lot of digitisation happening, there is a lot of robotics coming into manufacturing. Even small businesses are benefitting from supply changes which are lot more mechanised. So, rapid changes are happening and in this philosophy of ‘Sabka Saath’… is not forgotten,” she said.
She also mentioned how the Centre was working to bring changes in lives of underprivileged and marginalised sections. “I want to underline the fact that BJP’s ideology itself is linked on two major understandings — that you have to be Sarvsparshi, which is you have to reach out and touch everybody in the society and you have to be Sarvvyapi, which is you have to be prevalent and present in all parts of the economy, society, country,” she said.
Referring to the Jan Dhan scheme, she said today more than 80 crore people are getting benefit and there are more than 40 crore accounts.
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