Industry wants tax reforms, hiked personal tax exemption limit in their pre-budget meet with revenue secretary

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 NEW DELHI :  In a series of pre-budget consultations, industry leaders from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI), and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) presented a slew of recommendations aimed at bolstering economic growth, enhancing ease of doing business, and fostering sustainable development.

The meetings with Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra and his team highlighted key areas for government focus in the upcoming Union Budget.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) emphasized the need for a significant increase in government capital expenditure, proposing a 25 per cent rise compared to the 16.8 per cent increment outlined in the interim budget.

The CII’s focus is on creating rural infrastructure, including irrigation systems, warehousing, and cold chain facilities, to support agricultural productivity and rural economic growth.

CII suggested, “To boost consumption demand in the short term, steps such as providing a marginal relief in income tax at the lower end of the spectrum with taxable income upto Rs 20 lakhs; reduction in excise duties on Petrol and Diesel: upward revision of minimum wages of MNREGA; raising DBT amount under PM Kisan”.

CII also proposed a mission on Advanced Manufacturing and Advanced Materials to enhance India’s manufacturing capabilities.
They emphasized the need for a strong focus on agriculture and rural development, suggesting the creation of non-farm rural jobs through village-level entrepreneurship and the development of integrated rural business hubs.

Furthermore, CII called for the establishment of a Green Transition Fund to support the decarbonization of industries, particularly for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

They also highlighted the need for a National Mission on Water Security and proposed an employment-linked incentive scheme for labor-intensive sectors with high growth potential.

The CII’s comprehensive suggestions included the creation of a Social Security Fund for gig and platform workers and the formulation of a roadmap to increase public expenditure on health to 3 per cent of GDP and education to 6 per cent of GDP by 2030.

They also proposed the next set of Goods and Services Tax (GST) reforms, advocating for a three-tier GST structure and the inclusion of petroleum, real estate, and electricity under the GST regime.

The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) met with Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra to discuss their budget recommendations.
Hemant Jain, Senior Vice President of PHDCCI, called for an increase in personal tax exemptions and a reduction in penalization clauses to simplify the tax system and ease the burden on taxpayers.

He said, “We recommended that personal tax exemptions should be increased. Additionally, penalization clauses, which the government has reduced over the last two terms, should be further minimized. The government must ensure ease of doing business and avoid repetitiveness in the taxation procedure, ensuring that common people are not harassed.”

Mukul Bagla, Chair of the Direct Taxes Committee at PHDCCI, highlighted the heavy tax burden on the Indian middle class, particularly those earning Rs 15 lakhs or more.

“The middle class is currently taxed at a rate of 30 per cent, leaving them with little disposable income for savings and other needs. We suggested that the 30 per cent tax slab should apply only to incomes above Rs40 lakhs”, said Bagla.

To address environmental concerns, Bagla proposed promoting electric vehicles by increasing the depreciation rate on these vehicles to 60 per cent.
In a pre-budget meeting with the Finance Ministry, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) stressed the importance of simplifying the capital gains tax.

Subhrakant Panda, Immediate Past President of FICCI, stated, “Simplification of capital gains tax was on our agenda, and the government is actively considering it. While the direction is yet to be determined, it remains a significant focus.”

Panda highlighted India’s strong position, as evidenced by growth forecasts and robust direct and indirect tax collections.

He emphasized the importance of maintaining growth momentum over the next five years. “We have avoided requests for concessions and exemptions, focusing instead on actualizing growth potential through simplification and enhancing ease of doing business,” he said.

Panda noted that the aim is to reduce litigation and find mutually agreeable solutions where disputes arise. (ANI)

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