Here are some major policy initiatives, programmes announced and achievements made after the new government came into power with regard to Ministry of Finance.
Actions to curb Black Money
First major decision taken by the present Government after taking over reins of power in May, 2014 was to constitute a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to implement the decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court on large amount of money stashed abroad by evading taxes or generated through unlawful activities.
Joining the global efforts to combat tax evasion, including supporting implementation of a uniform global standard on Automatic Exchange of Information on a fully reciprocal basis, facilitating exchange of information regarding persons hiding money in offshore centres.
Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)
Another major initiative of the Government was to launch a major campaign to open bank accounts. Major achievements have been made with regard to the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) which was launched by the Prime Minister on 28th August, 2014. Target was to open bank accounts of at least one household amounting to opening of 7.5 crore accounts by 26th January, 2015. Target has now been revised to opening of 10 crore accounts by 26th January, 2015.
Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY)
The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley relaunched the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY)
which will benefit the vulnerable section of society with limited resources and will provide monthly pension ranging from Rs 500/ to Rs 5,000/ per month to senior citizens of the country.
The revived scheme will remain open during the window stretching from 15th August, 2014 to 14th August, 2015 for the benefit of citizens aged 60 years and above, and will provide financial security by ensuring regular income during their advancing years.
Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)
In a aim to create transparency and accountability in government delivery systems and empower beneficiaries, the vision of DBT is to transfer cash or benefits directly to the beneficiaries' accounts, preferably Aadhar seeded, cutting down several layers of the intermediaries in order to achieve timely and more frequent payments, target intended beneficiaries more accurately, remove fake, ghost beneficiaries and de duplicate and improve efficiency in delivery system.
Goods and Services Tax
Constitutional Amendment Bill was introduced in Loksabha in the winter session to facilitate the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the country.
GST will simplify and harmonise the indirect tax regime in the country.
Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP)
While presenting the Union budget for 2014-15, the Finance Minister had announced the re-launch of the Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP)Reintroduction of Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) is a welcome step not only in the direction of providing safe and secure investment avenues to the small investors but will also help in augmenting the savings rate in the country. The scheme will also safeguard small investors from fraudulent schemes.
Committee to examine un-claimed amount
The Union Finance Minister approved the setting-up of a Committee under the Chairmanship of Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India(RBI) to examine un-claimed amount remained in PPF, Post Office, Savings Schemes etc and recommend how this amount can be used to protect and further the financial interest of the senior citizens.
The Union Finance Minister also announced during his Budget Speech in July 2014 to set-up an ‘Expenditure Management Commission' to achieve the objective of ‘Minimum Government, MaximumGovernance'. The Commission will look into various aspects of expenditure reforms to be undertaken by the Government.
Economy and Growth
GDP growth which was below 5 percent in the last two years has grown at 5.5 per cent in the first half of the current year.
Inflation as measured by Consumer Price Index is at its lowest ever level in November 2014 (4.4 per cent) since the introduction of the new series in 2011-12.
Tax Collection and Tax Relief
Indirect Tax Revenue (Provisional) collections have increased from Rs 2,69,909 crore in April-October 2013 to Rs.2,85,126 crore during April-October 2014. Thus an increase of 5.6 % has been registered during April-October 2014 over the corresponding period in the previous year. This is an overall achievement of 45.7% of the target fixed at BE 2014-15.
Fillip to the capital goods and automobile sector
In order to provide a fillip to the capital goods and automobile sector, the Government has decided to extend the duty concessions up-to 31st December, 2014.
Actual disinvestment: Government has disinvested 5% equity in SAIL and realized Rs.1,720 crore. This Offer for Sale (OFS) of Shares through Stock Exchange Mechanism was one of the best ever by the Government in terms of high percent subscription and low discount offered.