PM Modi recently announced slew of measures to woo farmers, small business owners and those who are less well-off, after the setbacks suffered in state elections by BJP. The party has started embarking on a journey where the road has become bumpy.
Two opinion polls on Thursday suggested that a coalition led NDA could emerge as the largest group in the election, while falling well short of a majority. Important to note here that the recent opinion polls have suggested a lot of improvement for Rahul Gandhi led Congress, which have played a master stroke by making Priyanka Vadra Gandhi the incharge of
UP(East). These recent developments on political fronts across all the parties forming a grand alliance popularly known as “Mahagathbandhan” push PM Modi to adopt more populist measures. The implications of these populist measures are going to cast their shadow on economic front, although government is already at risk of breaching its fiscal deficit goals.
BOON FOR MSMEs
On Jan. 10, India announced a change in national sales tax rules to exempt an additional two million small businesses. From April, businesses with annual sales of up to INR 40 lakhs will be exempt from the Goods and Services Tax (GST),a concession now limited to firms with turnover of up to 20 lakhs rupees a year.
The government is also considering offering cheap loans and free accident insurance coverage to small businesses
Direct fund transfers and interest-free loans for farmers are among the relief measures being considered. Such loans, from state-owned banks that will be compensated by the government, could cost 120 billion rupees a year, government sources said.
An option in place of the interest-free loans could be to give farmers sums ranging from 2,000 rupees to 4,000 rupees for every hectare of land owned, at an estimated cost of more than a trillion rupees.The government’s least favored option is farm loan waivers, such as those rolled out by the main opposition Congress party after it defeated the BJP in key farmland states in last
year’s state elections.
RESERVATION BASED ON ECONOMIC STATUS
Indian Govt aims to spend huge sum of money to boost educational places to meet a 10 percent quota recently promised to the less well-off among upper-caste Hindus and people from other religions. It already sets aside job and education quotas for its lowest social classes.
RELIEF FOR ONION GROWERS
In December, Govt. doubled to 10 percent its export incentives for onion farmers, after prices of the key staple plunged. The program offers credit to be used to pay taxes.
END OF E-COMMERCE MONOPOLISTIC BUSINESS
From February 1, Government wants to ban sales by e-commerce companies, such as Amazon.com and the Walmart-owned Flipkart, of products from firms in which they hold equity and monopolistic sales model The move has come in wake of many complaints by retailers and traders that big firms exploit control of inventory from affiliates and pacts on exclusive sales, thus promoting undercutting.
REDUCTION OF GST
The empowered GST Council slashed GST for more than 20 items, from televisions to movie tickets.
As per a report the government is also considering raising the ceiling for payment of personal tax, thus giving a boost to the disposable income with the middle class. An effort to increase the spending by the masses, in general.