Sunday, March 16, 2014

National General Election – Our vote to be decisive

The general elections have been announced and within 3 to 4 weeks voting process will commence. It is very important for the Chartered Accountants fraternity to actively participate in the election process not only by casting their votes but also actively participating in shaping the thought process of the society. In the last 2 to 3 years India has witnessed a very serious lack of policy and administrative initiative at macro- economic level, resulting into very serious issues in the overall economic scenario including infrastructure sector, banking, power, telecom, coal, roads, water management, real estate, petroleum and gas and so on. The chartered accountancy profession which has a very large force of 2.25 lakh members, 1 million students and millions of clients and employees, who can be directly influenced through a proper dialogue. We can as a class be a very powerful class of intellectuals by our active participation. The nation is currently suffering from multiple taxes and highly litigate approach of the tax officials, severe corruption, huge compliance costs and complex legal requirements. Similarly the new Companies Act, 2013, the draft rules framed there under, draconian powers given to SEBI for searches and seizure and very highly complex corporate law compliance's requirement even for private limited and closely held small and mid- size Companies are some very serious issues, which are impacting the business and economic environment adversely.It is important for us to put forth a clear mandate and consensus to the newly elected government that Indian democracy will not permit so much powers and procedures that are unwarranted and unjustified, in the hands of bureaucracy. The size of the government and powers given to them has to be brought down substantially and a congenial business and economic environment to do business with ease and pride is necessary.The entire C.A. profession and a very large number of voters which can be influenced by us should talk in one voice on all electoral forums to potential candidates, seeking their support to a business friendly environment conducive to rapid growth. The revival of capital market, availability of adequate low cost funds from the financial market including towards risk equity capital and easy availability of funds to self-employed small and medium sector are certain pre-requisites. The introduction of single GST, providing for a clear-cut
automatic sharing between State and Central Government, providing for automatic credit of share of State and Central government by electronic bank transfer of all collection of GST, will be very necessary to bring easy implementation of GST as well as full respect to federal constitution framework. The expenditure of the Central and State Government can also be substantially reduced by merging all central level and state level taxes into one single GST. The concept of dual GST is basically incorrect and will only bring more confusion and anarchy. To ensure complete transparency and eradication of corruption at all levels, a transparent, robust electronic governance portal needs immediate implementation. The government also needs to consider to completely withdrawing the large number of regulations, procedures, compliances and tax laws, which are redundant, unreasonable and unfriendly. Most of the Central Government, State Government and local government related interaction and approvals needed by the citizen should be shifted to electronic system so as to eradicate corruption, reduce the size of the government and reduce burden on the exchequer. The current tax GDP ratio is too high and a substantial reduction will fuel big growth momentum.

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