Capt meets Jaitley over borrowing limit

October 03, 2017 11:22 PM

NEW DELHI: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday late evening to press for permission to raise the state’s borrowing limit to generate the Rs 9500 crore funds needed to waive off the loans of farmers up to Rs 2 lakh.

Captain Amarinder reiterated his request for raising the borrowing limit from 3% to 4.5% so that the state government could expedite the process of waiver of loans and financial aid to small and marginal farmers. The Punjab government is all set to notify the loan waiver up to Rs 2 lakh for farmers with land up to 5 acres and a lumpsum of Rs 2 lakh to other small and marginal farmers, irrespective of their land size.

 Giving details of the meeting, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said the Captain Amarinder also once again raised the issue of incentives to check stubble burning. Expressing serious concern over the environmental degradation as a result of the stubble burning, the Chief Minister urged the finance minister to include compensation, at Rs 100 per quintal, for farmers for managing crop residue (paddy straw).

The Chief Minister also raised the issue of GST, urging the finance minister to simplify the process in view of the hardship being caused to the business and trading community, as also the state government, which had been facing financial difficulties due to delay in release of GST payment from the Centre.

Captain Amarinder suggested simplification of rates, which should be fixed at 12% and 18% as a move towards single-rare GST. He welcomed Jaitley’s reported statement hinting at reduction of GST slabs to make the process more structured and simpler.

The Chief Minister also called on the finance minister to ensure ease of compliance to the new tax regime and suggested that a single quarterly return be allowed for small dealers. The Chief Minister also rooted for simplification of `NIL’ returns, along with a higher threshold for exemption to make the entire process more rational and streamlined.

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