Expanding middle class will be key driver of economic growth: Venkaiah Naidu

Vice president M. Venkaiah Naidu at the Ahinsa diwas samaroh at vighan bhawan in New Delhi on Sunday. Express Photo by Prem Nath Pandey. 12.11.2017. *** Local Caption *** Vice president M. Venkaiah Naidu at the Ahinsa diwas samaroh at vighan bhawan in New Delhi on Sunday. Express Photo by Prem Nath Pandey. 12.11.2017.

Vastavam web: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today said the expanding middle class will be the key driver of India’s economic growth, and the need of the hour is to take full advantage of our demography by creating jobs.He also said that while India must improve its tax-to-GDP ratio and curb tax evasion, there should be no needless harassment of tax-payers.He was speaking at the inaugural session on a seminar on `Contemporary issues and challenges in Finance, Marketing and Taxation’, organised by the Keshav Memorial Institute of Commerce and Science here.

“Merely turning out lakhs of students with degrees is not enough,” he said, adding that they must be taught “life skills”.Massive recapitalisation of public sector banks at Rs 2.11 lakh crore is expected to improve the credit growth and private sector investment, Naidu said, adding that introduction of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has strengthened creditors’ rights.One of the major objectives of both demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax was to increase tax compliance, he said.”While tax evasion has to be dealt with sternly, it should be ensured that there is no unnecessary harassment of tax payers by overzealous officials,” he said.

The GST has changed the face of the indirect tax regime as it brings one tax instead of multiplicity of taxes, Naidu said.India needs to ramp up its tax-to-GDP ratio, currently at 16.6 per cent, to fund a modern, twenty-first century government which can offer basic public facilities and social security to its citizens, Naidu said.