Arun Jaitley may make big announcements shortly; public sector banks' recapitalisation likely

Arun Jaitley may make big announcements shortly; public sector banks' recapitalisation likely”

Summary: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley held a press conference on Tuesday today.

"Current account deficit to be less than 2% this year and foreign exchange reserves have crossed $400 billion", Garg said. Addressing the media, Jaitley said that there has been discussions and reviews of the economy in the past few weeks within the ministry.

In February, Jaitley had said that the drop in economic activity due to demonetisation was only transient and its effect would not spill over to the next financial year.

Earlier in August, the Union Cabinet had chose to set up an Alternative Mechanism to oversee proposals for expeditious consolidation of public sector banks (PSBs) "so as to create large, strong lenders". Government announces public sector banks' capitalisation plan of Rs 2,11,000 crore, of which Rs 1.35 lakh crore will come from recap bonds and Rs 76,000 crore from budgetary support and market-raising.

Since it came to power three years ago, the Modi government has taken many bold steps to give boost to India's economy, like the a new tax regime the Goods and Services Tax and demonetisation. This will improve lending capacity of banks. It also said that public sector banks will catalyse private investments. Under the Saubhagya scheme (Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana), universal electrification will be done in all the unelectrified households by March 2019.

Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa said "effective and targeted Government spending is the main priority of the government".

Earlier in the day, Jaitley said the government has made a decision to waive late fee on the filing of GSTR-3B for August and September.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, "To facilitate taxpayers, late fee on filing of GSTR-3B for Aug&Sept has been waived. Late fee paid will be credited back to taxpayer ledger". The Ministry further notified that the total GST revenue is Rs. 14,042 crore, SGST revenue is Rs 21,172 crore and IGST revenue is Rs 48,948 crore.

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