Economic resurgence : The Tribune India

Economic resurgence

Utilise fiscal gains to tackle unemployment

Economic resurgence

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo

INDIAN economy is back on track after the worldwide upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war. The green shoots are clearly visible. Gross direct tax collections rose by 30 per cent to Rs 8.36 lakh crore till September 17 of the ongoing financial year compared to the year-ago period; this sum includes revenue from corporate income tax (Rs 4.36 lakh crore) and personal income tax (nearly Rs 4 lakh crore). In a welcome sign of heightened tax compliance, advance tax collections grew by 17 per cent to Rs 2.95 lakh crore in the April-September period.

There are good tidings on the GST front as well. The gross GST revenue collected in August 2022 was Rs 1,43,612 crore, 28 per cent higher than the amount in the corresponding month last year. It is also creditable that for six months in a row, the monthly GST revenue has been in excess of Rs 1.4 lakh crore. The encouraging figures owe a lot to the simplification and streamlining of the tax payment procedure, besides a relentless crackdown on tax evaders. Honest taxpayers have done their job, even though the government has been lackadaisical in incentivising them for their efforts.

Some economic gains are attributed to pragmatic diplomacy. New Delhi has done well to hold its ground and prioritise its interests amid the war in eastern Europe. It is estimated that India saved Rs 35,000 crore by importing Russian crude at discounted prices in the past over six months, resisting pressure from western powers to scale down trade ties with Moscow. The onus is on the government to use all this money judiciously and ensure that economic growth is sustainable as well as inclusive. The Centre is laying emphasis on massive infrastructure build-up, but at the same time adequate attention must be paid to job generation. It’s worrying that India’s unemployment rate shot up to a one-year high of 8.3 per cent last month. The restoration of crores of jobs lost during the pandemic remains a huge challenge. The government needs to bolster the purchasing power of people in order to spur demand and consumption. This is achievable through optimum utilisation of burgeoning financial resources.

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