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2017 to witness historic economic reforms: Minister Meghawal
May 16, 2017, 5:32 pm

Describing 2017 as the year of momentous economic reforms including implementation of good and service tax, Union Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghawal on Sunday said the initiative of the Modi government has effected various changes to the budget like merging the railways with Union budget and passed the finance bill before March 31 for the first time.

“Now we will roll out the goods and services tax from July 1 which will make it easier to do business in the country,” Meghawal said while inaugurating the Digital India Summit organized by the Bombay Mercantile Cooperative Bank in Mumbai. “GST will help it easier to do business. For instance in India, logistic charges are high compared to US and Canada, but with GST these charges will come to par with these developed countries,” he added.

The glittering function at Grand Hyatt was attended by MPs, political leaders, professionals and large group of bankers. who all gathered to deliberate and prepare the blueprint for digitization of the cooperative banks.

While stressing that post-demonetisation of high value currency notes, the country has rapidly moved towards digitization, the Minister said it has helped keep a check on the shadow economy. Meghawal added that ‘Digital India’ is a necessary initiative to “hurt” the illicit economic activities.

The Minister was emphatic that the push for digital India will enable to account for the illicit transactions. This will result in growth of consumption, investments and export and as a result, GDP will also grow.

Addressing the second session, Union Minister of State for Minorities Affair  Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the task is enormous, but Digital India has come to stay and would usher a golden era in the Indian  financial system  He said the Prime Minister’s bold initiative like demonetization and GST will not only result in economic resurgence but will benefit the common man at all strata. 

“The government is targeting even those who are standing in the last row,” said the minister in his spirited address Citing his own example, Minister Naqvi said this year more than 70 percent application for Haj came online and on the special app that his ministry had rolled out this year. “It was amazing as many experts had voiced their concern on going online for Haj registration, but we went ahead.”

“Till last year no one could have ever thought that the entire procedure of Haj application including payment could be handled by a click of mouse but we did it,” Minister Naqvi also said that his ministry has taken several initiatives to educate youngsters in minorities’ institution on computer learning while modernizing Madrasas.

In his welcome address, Bombay Mercantile Cooperative Chairman Zeeshan Mehdi  said the advent of modern information technology has today changed the idea of conventional banking and transformed almost all spheres of economic activities.

Zeeshan Mehdi said Prime Minister has given a tremendous fillip to the country's digital revolution with his Digital India Program. His emphasis on cashless economy or ‘less cash’ economy, surely requires active involvement of all stakeholders.

It is here the co-operative banking sector, which caters to the banking needs of millions of Indians, indeed has an important role to play in the country's journey towards digital transformation, the Chairman Mehdi said.  “This summit is a step forward in that direction. We have all gathered here to discuss, deliberate and prepare a blueprint that could be our positive contribution to the vast mission that lies ahead, in front of all of us.”

Among those who addressed the gathering included senior BJP Lok Sabha Member Jagdampika Lal, who lauded the effort of holding the Digitial India summit and said that he was confident that cooperative banks will play the desired role.

Among those who attended the summit included senior Congress leader Siraj Mehdi, former Congress minister Kirpal Shankar, noted lawyer Gauhar Kazmi besides representatives from several national banks, financial experts and Bank associations.


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