Q: What are your key high level expectations?
Mukherjee: One thing is for sure is obviously it's going to be a
difficult time for the Finance Minister when he comes up on the 16th March. He
has this fiscal deficit that he has to manage, and what would be important is
how much he could actually go out and manage it proactively. The first obviously
would be to put up what the right fiscal deficit is; he would have to spend time
to see how to expand and protect the tax base. You would also need to have a
very effective tax administration.
Another thing is the use of technology; if you really
see the use of technology in our tax administration is actually very miniscule.
There also is the whole gamut of tax litigation, because over the years I don't
think we have spoken so much on the increase in tax litigation or where is it
going. So I would very happy if he actually gets into discussing how to adjust
this tax litigation issue.
From a business point of view, they see GST in the next
year or two. It would be right to understand where the government is on the
thinking of GST because that obviously affects businesses and whether at all the
government is in a position today to get the GST rolling.
Q: Do you think that something will happen as far as
rates are also concerned?
Mukherjee: There are two things. I think
something will happen on the rates. Let me start with corporate tax rate, I do
not believe top rate would move from 30%, but I would believe that the MAT rate
Moneycontrol.com, India, dated