India Inc seeks steps to stimulate consumption, revive investment

Economy


NEW DELHI: India Inc has made a strong pitch for converging corporate tax rate to 15% over three years, ease of doing business and improving regulatory environment to safeguard investment as part of its budget wish list.

At a pre-budget meeting with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman Thursday, industry captains sought measures to stimulate consumption, revive private investment and boost growth.

“I made some suggestions around mergers and acquisitions and demergers, about NCLT processes and about certain sections of income tax that are coming in the way of M&A or are slowing them down,” Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal told reporters after the meeting.

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“The idea is to create more freedom for the industry for them to perform. What we look forward to in this budget is that it unleashes the energy of the Indian entrepreneurs to do more.”

Industry body CII sought policy stability for restoring investor confidence in sectors like retail, mining, auto and renewable energy.

CII president Vikram Kirloskar talked of applicability of redu-ced corporate tax rate of 22% for existing firms in limited liability partnerships and partnership firms. “This will in turn offer relief to the MSME sector,” he said.

FICCI president Sandip Somany suggested that income tax for those earning over `20 lakh should be halved to boost consumption. “Banks need to lower interest rates and pass on rate reduction announced by RBI.” The government has set up a Rs 25,000-crore fund to support under-development projects in the real estate sector.

The industry seeks more relief for homebuyers to drive growth. “The government should allow homebuyers to get a family tax deduction on home loans,” said Ravi Raheja, group president of K Raheja Group.

The government should relook at the import duty structure to rationalise taxation, CII suggested, pointing out that export competitiveness needed equal costs of higher logistics and electricity and lifting of cross-subsidisation.

“Import duties should be structured in such a manner that they are the highest for final goods, lower for intermediate goods and lowest for raw material, which will strengthen Make in India,” it said.

GMR Group business chairman BVN Rao, Ashok Leyland MD Vipin Sondhi, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group chairman Sanjiv Goenka, Wipro’s global CFO Jatin Dalal, Patanjali Ayurved chairman Acharya Balkrishan and ASSOCHAM president Balkrishan Goenka were among the representatives of Corporate India at Friday’s meeting.

N Chandrasekaran skips meeting

Tata Sons executive chairman N Chandrasekaran skipped the pre-budget meeting with the finance minister on Thursday, a day after the NCLAT restored Cyrus Mistry as executive chairman of the holding company of the Tata Group.



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