States that simplify tax rules stand to gain over others: FM | business | Hindustan Times
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States that simplify tax rules stand to gain over others: FM

Calling upon state governments to simplify tax laws and ensure corruption-free processes for doing business, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that those adopting such policies would substantially gain in a climate, in which different states were competing with one another to attract investment

business Updated: Nov 19, 2015 23:37 IST
HT Correspondents
Finance minister Arun Jaitley (left) and Rajashthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje at the opening ceremony of the investor conclave in Jaipur on Thursday.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley (left) and Rajashthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje at the opening ceremony of the investor conclave in Jaipur on Thursday. (Himanshu Vyas/ HT Photo)

Calling upon state governments to simplify tax laws and ensure corruption-free processes for doing business, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that those adopting such policies would substantially gain in a climate, in which different states were competing with one another to attract investments.

“States that ensure that a project is taken to the execution stage at a rapid pace after the signing of an MoU or agreement will attract private investments”, Jaitley said in his inauguration speech at the Resurgent Rajasthan Partnership Summit – an investor conclave jointly organised by the Rajasthan government and the Confederation of Indian Industry. “Ease of doing business is not merely a slogan, but the need of the hour”, he said.

Speaking in context of Rajasthan, the FM estimated that approximately 55% of the state government’s expenditure was “tied up” — largely on account of legacy issues. The state’s financial position was likely to get even tighter after adoption of the recommendations of the seventh pay commission, he estimated, while adding that “the way forward from here will come through policy reform aimed at expanding incomes through foreign investment”.

Referring to the NDA government’s reforms agenda, Jaitley advocated the need for state governments to enact labour reforms. Saying that the central government’s reforms agenda would benefit the state governments, the finance minister said that one such initiative was to empower the state governments to absolve the debts of the state electricity distribution companies (discoms). “The India of 2015 is not the India of 1971 or even 1991. There is today a big aspirational constituency that supports a policy of rapid growth,” Jaitley said.

“We welcome the opening of FDI in regional airlines and we intend to be first state to capitalise on this,” chief minister Vasundhara Raje said, adding that the state government had instituted innovative policies in eight critical areas and 61 archaic laws.