Note ban a 100% hit, GST glitches fixed: Gadkari

Debunking Opposition criticism, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari asserted that demonetisation was a 100% success and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was no more a problem.

Debunking Opposition criticism, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari asserted that demonetisation was a 100% success and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was no more a problem.

In an interview with DH, Gadkari said the BJP will convince voters on how demonetisation had destroyed the “Number 2” economy and transparency was heralded in business transactions with the rollout of GST.

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“So, we have succeeded, but whenever you start anything new, there are teething troubles,” the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister said, referring to the initial hiccups in the implementation of GST that had angered small businesses.

“We have taken a lot of decisions that have given relief to people. Now, GST is no more a problem,” said Gadkari, who also holds the portfolios of Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

He rejected criticism by the Opposition of the Modi government’s decision to scrap Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes and asserted that it was in line with the BJP’s promise in the manifesto to “destroy the Number 2 economy”.

“We have taken a decision, the results are also good,” Gadkari said, refusing to buy the argument that the parallel economy was still thriving.

“No, no. The way in which tax income is increasing — both through GST and Income Tax — it clearly indicates that it is a result of that (note ban),” the minister said.


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He also said that increased investment in the infrastructure sector would definitely lead to a spurt in employment opportunities.

The minister said he was confident about the increase in employment opportunities because leaders of the infrastructure industry had told him that their turnover had increased by up to 80% in the past few years.

At the same time, he admitted that agriculture was a challenging sector given the surplus farm production and favoured a change in the crop pattern along with a blend of appropriate technology.

Gadkari said the Modi government was on course to meet its election promise of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

“We are already depositing money in farmers’ bank accounts. They are getting a reasonable price for farm produce. As far as the government’s promise goes, we are implementing the policy,” he said when asked whether the assurance on doubling farmers’ income by 2022 would take longer to fulfil.

Gadkari listed the organisation of Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj, the building of an express highway network and increasing the national highway length from 93,000 km to two lakh km as the top three achievements of the ministries under his purview.

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