We need to appreciate people who are paying taxes and call out those who are misusing it: Nirmala Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs in conversation with Bodhisatva Ganguli, Executive Editor, The Economic Times, at The Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence 2023, on Friday.
Private sector capex has been one of the issues which one has been grappling with. It is not picking up to the desired extent. Is there something that you would like to tell them or make a pitch for?
Well, for once, I am going to talk completely in favour of the private sector from their side. If the world had been normal and after bringing down the corporate tax in 2019, and giving a time till March 2023 to expand businesses or set up new businesses and everything else,or set up new businesses and everything else, to be a bit tough and saying you have not really come out with flying colours would have been a reasonable argument.

But immediately after the 2019 September end when this was announced, we had the pandemic and how and after that the uncertainties of the war. But despite all this, I still can see many expansions happening, new investments happening. Otherwise, why will there be such an impactful impression about India and its attempts to bring in renewable energy?
Look at the keenness with which people are coming to India to set up in many fields, whether it is semiconductors or renewable energy or rare earths and the policy has now opened up even the space sector. I was there in a different context, releasing a book. I did speak about India’s public sector enterprises policy, which actually has opened up so many areas in which private sectors can come and invest. In fact, there is no area left where the private sector cannot come in.

Otherwise, India’s space industry, even as it was doing very well, would not have had so many private parties coming in and saying we would like to use the facility. So it is happening. But I do not know from where this trigger has come about. Some data is also flowing in saying the Indian private sector is not yet ready. I am sure they are ready, aren’t you?

Why am I supporting you? See, that is the problem with the private sector. They do not say yes, we are there. They are gently being asked to clap…

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