New Delhi :The manufacturing sector, a key driver of economy, is seeing an uptick in growth as reflected in robust indirect tax collections, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.
“I can now see trickles of growth. One of the greatest positives I can see is a huge increase in indirect tax revenues. As of October 31, the actual rise has been a staggering 36.5 per cent,” he said at the National Strategy Day on India, jointly organised by the World Economic Forum and CII.
The 36.5 per cent rise in indirect tax collections “looks bigger because of certain additional revenue measures which we took since November last year”, he said.
The government had raised excise duty on petrol and diesel to mop up revenue as international oil prices slid.
“So, those additional revenue measures add to it. But if I take it at par with last year’s figure, without those additional revenue measures, it surged 13.5 per cent. So, with excise duty, Customs and service tax, on a year-to-year basis, it is 13.5%, and with additional revenue measures, it is much more,” he said.
Stating that this is “a real increase”, he said, “This actually indicates that the manufacturing itself is picking up.”
Jaitley said availability of land is a pre-requisite for any growth.
Land is required for building infrastructure, urbanisation, rural development, irrigation and housing schemes.
“If you don’t make land available, the growth process comes to an end,” he said. “Obviously, land taken from somebody must be paid and more than adequately compensated.”
He said chief ministers belonging to the Congress had suggested need for changes in the Land Acquisition Act.
“So, the government in good faith accepted their advice and went ahead on a particular course. Once we brought (an amendment to the Land Acquisition Act) into Parliament, they changed their strategy and said we will oppose,” he said.
The Centre apparently has told states that land is on the concurrent list, where both the Centre and states have parallel jurisdiction.
“There is a change in strategy that let the states bring about any change if they feel it is necessary and the states have now set that process into motion. The first state has already sent its proposal to the Centre, we have accepted it and they have notified it,” he said.
An ordinance issued to notify amendments to make land acquisition for certain activities easier has lapsed.
“But the Bill remains before the Select Committee. They have asked some minor changes on which a consensus is possible. We will try and see if that consensus can be worked out in the coming session,” he added.