New Delhi: The government will continue to take steps for further simplification of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), President Ram Nath Kovind said Thursday. Addressing the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament, the president said the indirect tax system is being made simple and effective. “With the implementation of GST, the concept of ‘One country, One tax, One market’ has become a reality. Efforts to further simplify the GST will continue,” he said. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepThe GST, which subsumed over a dozen local taxes, was rolled out on July 1, 2017. He said that keeping in mind the interest of traders, accident insurance of up to Rs 10 lakh will also be provided to all traders registered under GST. Kovind also said for small traders, the government will soon constitute the National Traders Welfare Board and formulate a National Retail Trade Policy to promote retail business. The taxation regime, he noted, plays an important role in accelerating economic development. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs”Along with continuous reform, simplification of taxation system is also being emphasised. Exemption to persons earning up to Rs 5 lakh from payment of income tax is an important step in this direction,” he added. Terming infrastructure as pivotal in propelling prosperity and growth, President Ram Nath Kovind Thursday said the government’s endeavour is to build 35,000 km of highways, besides expressways, by 2022 and to lay a strong foundation for urban infrastructure that will encourage employment generation. Addressing the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament, the President said massive work to create infrastructure is underway, and electric vehicles (EVs) are being promoted to reduce pollution. “Under the ‘Bharatmala Project’, construction or upgradation of about 35,000 kilometres of national highways is to be undertaken by 2022. In addition, under the the ‘Sagarmala Project’, a network of good-quality roads is being constructed in coastal areas and areas adjoining ports,” he said. Along with the highways, the government is also working extensively in areas such as railways, airways and inland waterways. Under the Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) scheme, air connectivity to smaller towns is being expanded rapidly, he said. “On this path of a New India, infrastructure for the 21st century will be built and all resources for creation of a powerful India will be mobilised… Infrastructure will play an important role in ushering in a prosperous India,” he said. The President said the current government’s continuous endeavour has been to build infrastructure in an eco-friendly manner. Along with concrete, greenery has been made an integral part of the highway and expressway projects. For supply of electricity, optimal utilisation of solar energy is being stressed, he said adding that household and industrial wastes are also being used in road construction. The President said that in the 21st-century economy, the pace and spread of urbanisation will continue to increase and there is need to develop urban infrastructure. He said urban transport infrastructure is being created to cater to the current and future requirements.