It has been 7 decades since we got independence and Sardar Patel united various provinces to make a United India. Political union became a reality, but India did not become one market. NDA Government is working with the aim of uniting India’s markets, to empower our producers & strengthen our consumers. It is with this vision that the NDA Government, led by PM Narendra Modi has taken multiple initiatives to truly achieve One Nation, One Market.
Agriculture marketing is administered by the States as per their agri-marketing regulations, under which, the State is divided into several market areas, each of which is administered by a separate Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) which imposes its own marketing regulation (including fees). This fragmentation of markets, even within the State, hinders free flow of agri commodities from one market area to another and multiple handling of agri-produce and multiple levels of mandi charges ends up escalating the prices for the consumers without commensurate benefit to the farmer.
e-NAM addresses these challenges by creating a unified market through online trading platform, both, at State and National level and promotes uniformity, streamlining of procedures across the integrated markets, removes information asymmetry between buyers and sellers and promotes real time price discovery, based on actual demand and supply, promotes transparency in auction process, and access to a nationwide market for the farmer, with prices commensurate with quality of his produce and online payment and availability of better quality produce and at more reasonable prices to the consumer.
We had a multitude of taxes across the country. One country had multiple tax rates and multiple rules. Often, the producers ended up paying more and so did the consumers. This will all change with the advent of GST. With GST, there will be one tax rate in the entire country.
GST is a single tax on the supply of goods and services, right from the manufacturer to the consumer. Credits of input taxes paid at each stage will be available in the subsequent stage of value addition, which makes GST essentially a tax only on value addition at each stage. GST will ensure that indirect tax rates and structures are common across the country, thereby increasing certainty and ease of doing business. A system of seamless tax-credits throughout the value-chain, and across boundaries of States, would ensure that there is minimal cascading of taxes. The subsuming of major Central and State taxes in GST, complete and comprehensive set-off of input goods and services and phasing out of Central Sales Tax (CST) would reduce the cost of locally manufactured goods and services. This will increase the competitiveness of Indian goods and services in the international market and give boost to Indian exports. Because of efficiency gains and prevention of leakages, the overall tax burden on most commodities will come down, which will benefit consumers.
One nation, One grid, One price
Transmission capacity in India has been inadequate and unevenly distributed, leading to constraints in supplying power from surplus States to deficit States. States in South India, especially in the peak summer months, would face shortage of power due to congestion in transmission lines. This would result in double-digit prices for these States. NDA Government increased Available Transfer Capacity (ATC) by approximately 71% from 3,450MW in 2013-14 to 5,900MW. This has significantly reduced prices.
The information regarding price and availability of surplus electricity on the grid is being provided to the public through the mobile app, “Vidyut Pravah”. This app also provides the amount of electricity being purchased by States, and whether any shortage has been declared by said State. As per the Vidyut Pravah app, we find that the electricity rates for all States are uniform on many occasions. This is the culmination of multiple steps, which have been taken by the Government.
This increase in transmission capacity has also made it possible for many States to purchase short term power requirement from the National Grid. The Government launched “DEEP (Discovery of Efficient Electricity Price) e-Bidding & e-Reverse Auction portal” for procurement of short-term power by Distribution Companies (DISCOMs). This competitive procurement helps reduce procurement prices thereby benefitting ultimate customers.
Earlier when a person joined a new job for the first time, he got an EPF account opened by the employer where his provident fund money was deposited. His Provident Fund money was deposited in this account and when the employee left his job, this process began with a new EPF account. This not only needed high transaction costs & filling of multiple forms, but also made employees dependent on their previous employers for validation. With UAN, the employer has no role in the employees transactions and direct communication happens between EPFO and the employer. UAN remains constant & uniform through the employees lifetime & the PF money deposits will be linked to this UAN, leading to easy withdrawals.
These initiatives will go a long way in integrating India’s market while making life easier for the citizens.