Policymakers need to change regulatory mindset: Arun JaitleyNew Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said policymakers need to change their regulatory mindset asserting that role of state should be minimised and government monopoly must end wherever possible. Speaking at the National Workshop
New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said policymakers need to change their regulatory mindset asserting that role of state should be minimised and government monopoly must end wherever possible.
Speaking at the National Workshop on Citizen-Centric Governance, he said the economic reforms, which seek to promote easing of doing business, will continue as these are “never-ending processes and do not have a finishing line”.Jaitley said policymakers in India still have a“regulatory mindset” which needs to change even as he spoke of the urgency for policing reforms to make police-citizen interaction more civilised.
“... the control temperament or the control freak temperament of the political system has still not been fully done away with and there is a legacy to it,” Jaitley said, adding that all actions of the government should be aimed at “providing a better quality of life to citizens and minimising the role of the government”.
“Wherever possible, the role of the state should be minimised... the government's monopoly must end. Wherever we have ended them, we are better-off. We have ended them in the airlines sector, we have not ended them in the railway sector. And the result is very clear.
“There are many ways of doing this. As far as processes are concerned, every department has to take simplification exercise and particularly those departments which have the interface with the public,” he said.
Jaitley mentioned that the use of technology has helped in improving the system of filing income tax returns and expeditiously providing refunds.
“Ease of doing business means providing a better regime than neighbours and tax rates which are globally competitive,” he said, adding that the government intended to reduce corporate tax to 25 per cent from 30 per cent in the next four years and do away with “most of the tax exemptions”.
As a result of all the corporate exemption, Jaitley said the actual realisation of the government is 22 per cent.
“So we have a bad (global) image of 30 per cent plus tax charging economy, but our receipt is 22 per cent. Bulk of tax litigation is around because of these exemptions.
So I took a decision, I would bring down the Corporate tax over the next 4 years to 25 per cent, and phase out almost all exemptions,” he said.
“So in the end, it will help in getting higher amount of tax, he said, adding that “optically my taxation be globally competitive...this is the kind of reform we require.” Talking about another reform, the Finance Minister said, JAM (Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and Mobile) trinity has helped in saving leakages.
Putting LPG in JAM has saved 30 per cent of LPG subsidy, he said.Referring to delay in judicial process, he said that a law which sought to prescribe time limit for adjudication of specified cases was frustrated by a Supreme Court order which said that time limits are only directions and mot mandatory.
“When I was the Law Minister I made changes in Civil Procedure Code to say this (adjudication) may be done in 60 days, this must be done in 30 days. So the whole Parliamentary verdict was frustrated by a Supreme Court judgement which said that these dates that Parliament has said to do is directory and not mandatory for good reasons we can violate this,” he said.
Because of such delays in judicial process, foreign investors insist on arbitration in other countries, he said, adding “so, international investors start with a statement of no confidence because of the pace of Indian courts.”
Stressing on police reform, Jaitley said, “I think it is here that the largest reforms are required. And the single largest reform is required in the police citizens relationship.
You can't have a society where people are scared and reluctant to deal with the police.”
There is a need to bring reforms in the training process of police and bring change in attitude of policemen towards citizens, he added.