Newly elected president and managing director of Tata Steel TV Narendran on Saturday said that petrol and diesel prices are hurting industries and it is the right time to cut down prices to give relief to the common man as well as industries.
Speaking to ANI, Narendran said, “The government has increased taxes on petrol-diesel for the last 3-4 years. Now Centre and State governments should come forward to provide relief to the people and industry of the country. Centre and State governments should discuss and come forward with some balance for rate cut in diesel and petrol.”
He further demanded that petroleum products should be brought under the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
“I do not know what is the problem but the Centre and States should come to an agreement to bring petroleum products under GST. Citing an example of the aviation industry, Narendran said that airlines have to shell 60 per cent of the total cost on ATF and we demand that ATF should be also brought under GST,” said Narendran.
Talking about the impact of Covid 19 on jobs, he cited data that the rural unemployment rate has shot up from 8 per cent to 14 per cent which is almost double.
The CII president said, “The cumulative impact of two waves on incomes, livelihoods, and consumer sentiment, coupled with an increase in household medical expenses, are likely to impact consumer demand for some time.”
“So the government needs to give some relief by some short-term and focused GST rate cuts,” he added.
He said that by cutting 2-3 per cent GST rate on consumer good for six months government can provide some sort of relief to the common man who lost their job or faced salary cuts.
“I do not know when those people will see the job recovery who lost their jobs due to pandemic but once construction activity will start and the government will start pushing infrastructure spending, we can see job recovery as most of the medium and small entrepreneurs are linked to the construction industry,” said Narendran.
Mooting urgent financial support to shore up the economy, Narendran said the government has room to provide a Rs 3-lakh crore stimulus.
Narendran said that the industry is ready for the third wave if it comes. He said that AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria has stated that the third wave is inevitable and it could hit the country in the next six to eight weeks because we don’t seem to have learned from what happened between the first and the second wave as again crowds are building up, people are gathering so we need to always remember our Covid appropriate behaviour.
“This is of utmost importance. The industry has learned from the first wave how to deal with Covid-19. When the second wave hit we were worried but thankfully in the second wave we have not seen the migrant issue like last year. The second wave has taught us about oxygen emergencies and now the industry is also prepared for the third wave if it comes,” said Narendran
He said that government needs to boost up the vaccination drive from 30 lakh daily to a minimum of 70 lakh average daily vaccination doses from now till December 2021 to cover the entire adult population.
News source- Economic Times