While the past decade has seen many tales of arbitrary decision making, corruption and discretion rather than policy dictating crucial decisions, the past year has been a welcome change.
After the Supreme Court Order cancelled the coal block allocations, Govt acted with unparalleled swiftness to ensure transparent & timely auctions. Auction and Allotment proceeds from 67 coal blocks have touched 3.35 lakh crores over the life of the mine. The Delhi High Court remarked:
“What has convinced us is the fact that the auction process has worked out well. The process by itself does not appear to us, to be arbitrary or irrational. There is, of course, no allegation that the auction process is designed to favour any particular bidder”
In the spectrum auctions the Govt’s approach ensured massive gains, in stark contrast to the zero loss theory of the past. The complex issue of defence band identification pending since more than seven years was resolved quickly & good quantity of 2100 MHz released by the Defence Ministry was put into the auction.Spectrum in 4 various bands - 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz were put into simultaneous and multiple rounds of auction for the first time, so that the operators could take informed decision. As against the approved reserve price of Rs 80277 crore, the auction fetched a record Rs.109875 crore.
In an innovative step to ensure transparency, Environment Ministry has started process of online submission of applications for Environment approvals. It is no longer needed to come to Ministry for approvals. Applications can be tracked online. GIS based Decision Support System (DSS) to facilitate informed, transparent, expeditious and predictable decisions on forest approval applications.
On the Black Money front, SIT was constituted on the first day of office. Government is working in coordination with Swiss Government & getting information of cases investigated by IT Department. The Government approved the Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill 2015. Provisions of the Bill include severe penalties & punishment for undisclosed foreign income and assets. It is also mandatory to quote PAN for purchase /sale of above Rs. 1 lakh.