The Union Council of Ministers had a two-and-a-half-hour class on Goods and Services Tax (GST), Digital India and cashless transactions and government e-Marketplace on Wednesday in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The aim was to ensure its active participation and involvement in the widespread rollout and adoption of the initiatives. The PM called the meeting of ministers after Parliament passed GST enabling legislations on Wednesday.
Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia gave a detailed presentation on the intricacies of GST. Finance minister Arun Jaitley underscored the economic import of the legislation.
Department of electronics and IT secretary Aruna Sundarajan made a presentation on Digital India and the progress for cashless transactions. She emphasised on efforts towards digital delivery of services, common service centres, digital payment systems, BHIM App and transformative nature of Aadhaar platform.
She highlighted the rising investment in electronic manufacturing and figures to show the deepening digital ecosystem of the country. Commerce secretary Rita Teotia gave a presentation on government e-Marketplace, a special purpose vehicle cleared by the Cabinet to serve as national public procurement portal for the government while DGS&D shall cease its functions by October 31.
The ministers were informed about government’s emphasis on curbing graft in government purchases through this step.
“This meeting was more like a seminar for ministers to have an integrated understanding of key policy issues like GST and cashless digital transactions,” a minister told ET. The PM spoke only briefly and asked his ministers to understand the initiatives to spread awareness for its success.
The Economic Times, 12 April 2017