Tuesday, April 15, 2014

India under Transformation

The general election to Lok Sabha is the most important democratic process in the Indian Constitutional Framework. Current elections have attracted a huge turnout of the  voters, clearly indicating to the political leadership that India need change and Indian democracy, economy and expectations of public and society is under transformation.

  • The political leadership needs to have a clear growth plan for a positive visionary growth for all sections of economy and society. The plan for growth is to be followed by decisive action to implement the growth plan in a practical manner.
  • The bureaucracy needs to be empowered towards responsive, professional and positive decision making, without fear or favour. It is important to eradicate mal practices, corruption, delays in decisions and unjustified and undue treatment. The officials should not be subject to harassing review by CVC or CBI for their decisions.
  • Vigilance:A vigil on acquisition of properties, expenditure, wealth and asset creation by bureaucrats and politicians beyond the disclosed means is necessary. An annual statement of affairs disclosing all material transactions, asset and liabilities by politicians and bureaucrats including their close relatives and companies, firms, NGO and entities in which they are directly or indirectly interested need to be disclosed in a transparent manner and can be examined by vigilance department in a professional manner.
  • PSU: It is important to run public sector enterprises in a professional manner while keeping welfare agenda in the forefront.
  • Transparency: It is important to implement transparent electronic web based process for almost all the government applications, returns, assessments, refunds and approvals eradicating arbitrary subjective decisions.
  • Respect and fair treatment: International investor, Indian businessman and common man to be treated with respect, care and fairness by the tax department and government who should be responsive in a professional manner to deliver value services without any harassment.
  • Corporate Laws: The Companies Act 2013 has moved in the right direction of corporate governance. The rules and procedures for private limited companies and companies in which public is not substantially interested need to be substantially minimized on the basis of paid up capital, size of turnover and public borrowing.
  • Direct Taxes: The government needs to consider substantial simplification of tax laws, reduction in tax rates, reduction in litigation by clear policy initiative and substantial reduction in corruption by ensuring Nil one to one interaction between tax officials and the assessee. The surveys, searches and raids need to be a thing of past. There is a need for positive moves for voluntary tax compliance. The physical interface with tax department is to be reduced using technology, fairness and transparency.
  • Indirect Taxes: Multiplicity of indirect taxes to be eradicated by introducing a Single GST rate. The collection, assessment, refund, rectification and all other processes are to be automated by centrally developed software to be approved by a committee of States. The centalised tax collection, based on point of sale can be credited in an agreed ratio automatically to Central Government & State Government. A complete value added system to be put in place and refund to be processed only in case of exports. Inter-state sale and intra-state sale need not be distinguished.
  • Capital Market: SEBI has contributed significantly to professionalization of capital market. The market manipulation and lack of corporate governance need to be firmly addressed. Too many procedural compliance and unnecessary allegations of market manipulation or fraud need to be curbed. The prosecution and penalty powers are to be separated from SEBI and should be handled by judiciary.
  • Banking: Free availability of low cost fund is the back bone of growth of the economy and employment and eradication of poverty.
  • Balancing: Authority and responsibilities between judiciary, administrative and legislative wings of the government is blurred in recent past. The boundaries need to be elaborated and respected by each arm of the government. The aforesaid agenda before the new government, our society, economy and the nation can be the backbone for fast, decisive and inclusive growth of a welfare Indian State.

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