“There are various challenges before us, including keeping
inflation and fiscal and revenue deficit to manageable levels... which we all
have to address collectively,” Mukherjee said in his address to the industry
At the meeting, business leaders suggested that service tax base may be widened
with a negative list, besides exempting infrastructure companies and SEZ units
“We have made a case for retaining tax rates at the present level. There should
be no increase in corporate tax, service tax and excise,” Ficci president R V
Kanoria said in the Budget expectation.
Mukherjee is likely to unveil the Budget proposals for 2012-13 mid-March in Lok
He also made a case for privatisation of coal mines, stimulating demand through
fiscal measures and revisiting the concept of dividend distribution tax (DDT).
CII National Committee on Healthcare chairman Naresh Trehan sought
infrastructure status for the healthcare sector as that would encourage
companies in setting up hospitals in smallers cities and towns.
Besides finance and commerce ministry officials, the meeting was attended by ITC
Ltd chairman Y C Deveshwar, HUL MD and CEO Nitin Paranjpe, Suzlon Energy founder
Tulsi Tanti and representatives of industry chambers.
The industry leaders also sought infrastructure status for aviation, telecom and
education sectors, and continuation of interest rate subvention scheme for
exporters till 31 March, 2013.
In order to improve healthcare, the industry suggested that a benefit of tax
deduction of Rs. 10,000 be given to citizens for preventive health check-up.
Industry representatives were in favour of a reduction in interest rates by 50
basis points to stimulate investment sentiment and stimulate demand.
They also demanded that exports be included in priority sector lending by banks
and duty on readymade garments be either reduced or withdrawn.
Company bosses also sought clarity on the timeline for introduction of Goods and
Services Tax (GST), besides rationalisation of MAT — a levy that was introduced
to bring zero-tax paying companies into the net. At present, companies pay MAT
They also suggested implementation of the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) in its
entirety to help arrest cases of tax evasion.
FIEO president M Rafeeq Ahmed said, “Interest rate for the MSME sector should be
capped at seven per cent and others at nine per cent and subvention should be
provided to all sectors of exports at least till March 2013.”
FIEO also sought complete exemption of excise duty on handmade carpets,
reduction of excise duty on man-made fibres to four per cent (from current 10
per cent), and exemption of service tax on currency conversion for exports.
Livemint, India, dated