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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Expect inflation to remain in range of 2-6%, says Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that Bharat’s inflation rate is likely to contained in the range of 2 to 6 per cent.

In July, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) slipped to 5.59 per cent from 6.26 per cent in June.

Speaking on the economy during an interaction with the media, she expressed confidence that the upcoming festive season is expected to be better and revenue is likely to buoyant in the coming months.

She noted that vaccinations will enhance confidence of people.

Further, the minister said that demand will pick up as lockdown is lifted in several states.

On the withdrawal of retrospective taxation, Sitharaman said that the rules for the recent taxation amendment bill will be framed soon.

“We will have to wait for the rules to be framed under the recent taxation amendment bill,” she said.

The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed by the Parliament in the recently concluded Monsoon Session, to do away with the contentious retrospective tax demand provisions and its passage may end the much stretched tax disputes with UK’s Cairn Energy, and Vodafone Plc.

The Bill has amended the Income Tax Act, 1961 so as to provide that no tax demand shall be raised in future on the basis of the said retrospective amendment for any indirect transfer of Bharatiya assets if the transaction was undertaken before May 28, 2012 – when the finance bill was passed by the Parliament in 2012.

On the GST compensation issue, Sitharaman said that if GST revenues collection continues like this, then the Centre would be able to pay compensation as per the agreement.

She noted that the Centre will have to consult with states in the GST Council to asses the situation on repayment of borrowing beyond five years of compensation which is ending in June 2022.

On the high fuel prices, the minister said that NDA government is paying for reduction in prices of petroleum products during the time of Manmohan Singh government, due to the interest and principles having to be repaid on oil bonds from that period.

Sitharaman said that as of 31 March, 2021, there was Rs 1.31 lakh crore in outstanding principal amount, and Rs 37,340 crore in interest yet to be repaid on these oil bonds.

“We should have released a white paper in 2014 listing out all that we inherited from the previous government. Oil bonds were a big part of that. The previous government had reduced to prices but that burden had to be taken by the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) through these oil bonds,” she said.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with minor edits to conform to Hindu-Post style-guide.)


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