KOCHI: Union Minister for State Alphons Kannanthanam on Monday said demonetisation and GST had benefited the nation. Addressing a function organised by the Kerala Management Association(KMA) here to felicitate him on his induction into the Union Cabinet, Kannanthanam was at pains to establish demonetisation indeed had a positive side to it.
"Only 1 per cent of the country used to pay income tax. Post-demonetisation, there has been a 25 per cent increase in I-T payment. The I-T Department has served notices on 13 lakh people. With this, the I-T payment will go up to 50 per cent and around 3- 5 per cent people in the country will be paying I-T. The money stockpiled in homes have started reaching the banks. The banks plagued by non-performing assets(NPA) have abundant funds to give as loans now," he said.
Kannanthanam said the Narendra Modi Government had dared to introduce a uniform tax system through GST. "There will be issues when a reformation is implemented in form of GST. Experts have said India's economy will grow at a robust rate in the coming years. Economic reformation is required to catch up with rapidly growing economies like those of China," he said.
Mobile manufacturers had a turnover of Rs120 lakh crore last year, Kannanthanam said. The Indian companies should come out with innovative ideas to develop such technologies indigenously. "Even though Kerala was the first state in the country to set up an IT park( Technopark at Kariyavattom in Thiruvananthapuram), it could not grow to the level of IT parks in Bengaluru and Noida. Lack of leadership is one of the reasons which crippled IT growth in Kerala," he said.
He urged the people of Kerala to come out against hartals. "Hartals are denting the image of Kerala now. Why are we allowing people to organise hartals?" he said.Kannanthanam said the state's tourism sector has abundant potential. "Though Kerala is the world's best tourist destination, it is ranked seventh. Basic infrastructure has to be developed here," he said.