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Government planning GST relief for traders; crackdown on benami properties

Hinting at further reforms in the taxation system in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the government is planning to introduce more relief for small traders and businessmen. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been complaining that GST has increased their tax burden and also the amount of administrative work required. The government is aware of the problems being faced by SMEs and it is working on a plan to fix those issues. The next GST Council meeting will be held on November 9-10 and some relief can be announced during this meeting. The GST Council appears to have reached consensus in terms of providing further relief to SMEs. Although GST has created some problems, these are just teething troubles and would be sorted out in the course of time and with further tweaks and improvements.

PM Modi also hinted at the crackdown on benami (illegal) properties, which has been an easy way to park black money in India. People with black money have been buying real estate since decades and till now, there has not been any major campaign against this system. PM Modi said that Congress is worried since its leaders may have benami properties and these will not be spared. With this statement, speculations have started that a campaign against benami properties could be launched around November 8, the day demonetization was announced last year. The opposition has decided to celebrate November 8 as a black day, but BJP will celebrate it as anti-corruption day. Clearly, India is now divided into two groups; one that wants to eliminate corruption and the other group that wants to eliminate the people who want to remove corruption.

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