Kolkata, Sep 29 (UNI) The Centre would invest Rs 5.7 trillion in strengthening the infrastructure regime during FY 2018-2019, Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani said here today.
Speaking at the 117th Annual session of Merchant’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the minister said the benefit of fiscal discipline was passed on to the nation through schemes like Ujjwala and Suraksha Bima Yojna.
In what can be seen as a reply to the difficulties facing the industry, especially the SMEs, Ms Irani said in the four years, the number of assessees increased to 64.6 per cent, first time since 1947.
There were challenges, but Narendra Modi Government filled the gaps and met the challenges to implement GST unlike the UPA government which through its decade long rule could not build political consensus on GST and chose to remain politically popular instead of bringing in fiscal discipline.
She said it was an achievement of her government to bring maximum people under the tax net, and using the benefits of it for the poor. Under the Ujjwala scheme 5.5 crore Indian families were getting clean fuel “a demand for which Indians have been crying for decades”.
She said as part of the direct advantage being given to the rural families, poor could ensure secured lives under the Suraksha Bima just for Re 1.
Hitting out at the UPA government the Union minister accused the UPA government of downplaying the NPAs and said the factual recognition of NPAs happened during the Narendra Modi government for the first time ever.
” In 2014 the UPA government told the nation there was an NPA of Rs 2.5 lakh crore. But, when the RBI evaluated all the NPAs it turned out to be Rs 8,76,000 crore, ” she said.
” Anybody who sat with the books of account in the banking sector knew it very well that they were being compelled to give loans to unviable projects, ” she said.
” The NPAs are the biggest burden left by the UPA. With the help of NCLT we are trying to solve the issue, ” she added.