Govt. moves to spur demand

  • Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday unveiled a mini­ stimulus of sorts, comprising incentives for the government and public sector employees to spend more on consumer durables and services, and interest ­free loans of ₹12,000 crore to the States for a 50­ year tenure to finance capital expenditure.
  • Ms. Sitharaman also enhanced the Centre’s own capital expenditure plans by ₹25,000 crore, from the earlier allocation of ₹4.13 lakh crore, for spending on roads, urban development, water supply, defence infrastructure, and domestically ­produced capital equipment for defence infrastructure


No consensus on States’ GST compensation

  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council failed again on Monday to reach an agreement on the contentious issue of borrowings to meet shortfalls in cess collections used to recompense the States for revenue losses from the indirect tax implementation.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, however, said the Centre is ready to help the States who have decided to borrow to bridge the cess shortfall. “There was no consensus arrived on a matter. The GST Council can certainly take a call on cess, extending the period of cess collection. That was repeatedly reiterated but among the members, the question was — can the GST Council decide if the Centre should borrow or the States should borrow,” she said.