Steal a march over Modi in smart governance, govt told

Cong panel stresses on 4G, resolving tax issues with e-com firms

Steal a march over Modi in smart governance, govt told

The Congress high command wants the Siddaramaiah government to provide ‘smart governance’ so that it can take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘tech-driven’ administration.

 The Congress has decided to make use of the party government headed by Siddaramaiah to compete with Modi in e-governance.

The State Congress coordination committee headed by AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh on Tuesday unveiled a road map for the government to usher in technology in a big way in administration. By doing so, the Congress wants to prove that it is not lagging behind in adopting technology in day-to-day administration – something Modi keeps harping about. Karnataka, which is known for many firsts in the IT sector, should be the model for other Congress-ruled states is the view of the Delhi leaders. 

Introduction of digital governance policy, implementation of digital governance on smart phone, making 4G available to people and resolution of tax dispute of e-commerce companies are some of the steps that the government has been advised to take immediately in the State. 

“We want to make smart governance a hallmark of the party government. Though the prime minister keeps talking about it, he has not done even it in Gujarat. Karnataka will be the first state to do it. The government has been asked to simplify rules and procedures so that the common man gets services without hassles,” Singh told reporters after the meeting.

The panel’s move is seen as an effort to handhold the party government which has come under criticism for not providing effective governance. The high command is said to have decided to guide Siddaramaiah on policy issues to salvage the government’s image.

Resolve tax issue

Singh said e-commerce firms like Flipkart and Amazon are emerging as favourite platforms for people to buy and sell. These companies have made Bangalore their hub. The government has been asked to resolve the issue of taxing their service income so that the State not only earns revenue but also the companies do their business without much ado, he added.The government, official sources said, has already directed the Finance department to look into the issue of tax liability by e-commerce companies and recommend steps to resolve it. 

The e-commerce firms do not fall under the definition of traders as per the State VAT Act and hence, the question of tax liability, officials pointed out. “The spread of 4G is something that Internet users want. The government has been advised to issue an order in this regard and ensure that it is available to people as early as possible,” Singh stated.

The Congress leader said that the challenge before the party in the State is to ensure that all promises made in the manifesto at the time of 2013 Assembly elections are fulfilled as effectively as possible, he added.

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