Industry experts seek lower taxes

ST CORRESPONDENT
Friday, 5 July 2019

Just as Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is all set to present her first Budget on Friday, industry experts have huge expectations for reduction in taxes, which will help promote economic growth. 

Pune: Just as Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is all set to present her first Budget on Friday, industry experts have huge expectations for reduction in taxes, which will help promote economic growth. 

Several experts told Sakal Times that the government should focus on agriculture, infrastructure and employment issues for the economic growth of the country. 

Speaking about Budget expectations, MD and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India Martin Schwenk said, “Given the favourable outcome of GST in terms of raising revenue, we wish the Centre would reconsider the rationalisation of GST rates for cars which currently attracts 28 per cent GST and 17 to 22 per cent compensation cess. We recommend a downward revision of GST rate on all cars to 18 per cent from 28 per cent and a proportionate reduction of cess to around 15 per cent for all cars above 4 metres. This will act as a much-needed catalyst for the growth of the industry, especially when it is facing subdued customer interest due to multiple factors like hike in insurance costs, inflationary hikes, liquidity crunch and forthcoming price increase due to BSVI implementation.” 

Another expert, Chairman and Managing Director of Kalyan Jewellers TS Kalyanaraman said there should be a reduction in import duty on gold from 10 per cent to 4-5 per cent. “This would help buoy up positive business sentiments and a cut in the duty structure will ultimately benefit the consumer,” he added. 

On the need to reduce GST rates, Business Head and Executive Vice President – Godrej Appliances and CEAMA President Kamal Nandi said, “The consumer electronics and appliance industry has witnessed low to no growth in the last three years. The penetration level for durables has traditionally been low in India and despite more than 5 decades, it stands at as low as 30 pc for refrigerators (92 per cent in China), 13 per cent for washing machines (88 per cent in China) and 60 per cent for televisions (95 per cent in China). We urge the Central government to lower GST rates for key consumer products like air conditioners (ACs) and TVs above 32 inches (all sizes) as these products are the basic necessity of a household and not a luxury.”

MCCIA President Pradeep Bhargava said, “Economic growth and generating employment is the foremost agenda for the nation.” 

He added,  “The government should take bold steps by investing capital expenditure in core sectors like roads, Railways and defence. Such investments would generate investment in the private sector and overall employment growth. Resources would clearly be required for these investments.

 “The private sector needs help in terms of removing the bottlenecks and incentives to increase production and exports. There is a need to conclude them in this term covering administrative reforms, police reforms, judicial reforms and even electoral reforms,” he further added MCCIA Director General Prashant Girbane said, “To become a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025, we need a growth rate of more than 8 per cent from now onward. With the agriculture sector’s growth at an average of around 4 per cent, the industry and services sectors need to contribute at approximately 10 per cent growth.” 

“For the industry to grow from current sub 7 per cent to 10 per cent, it requires enabling provisions both in Budget and through subsequent policies. The provisions need to focus on investment (both government and private), divestment (PSUs), credit, labour reforms, export growth and incentivising labour-intensive sectors,” the Director General added. 
 
Praj Industries India Executive Chairman Pramod Chaudhari said, “With the renewed mandate, the NDA government should continue its focus towards reinforcing key pillars of the economy i.e. agriculture, infrastructure and manufacturing with the underlying intention to generate employment. The Budget should encourage industries to renew their focus on research and innovation to maintain an edge in the market place. As India is the third largest importer of petroleum products in the world, the government should step up its endeavours in the direction of energy self-reliance by harnessing biofuels in its energy mix.” 

The Budget should provide necessary fiscal incentives towards the production and adoption of biofuels. This should help reduce carbon footprints so as to meet COP21 obligations whilst boosting the rural economy. We expect the Budget to balance fiscal consolidation, while also boosting economic growth,” he added. 

KEI Industries Ltd Chairman and Managing Director Anil Gupta said, “What we expect from this Budget is an increased focus on renewable energy. With the roadmap to achieve 175 GW capacity in renewable energy by 2022, including 100 GW of solar power, small tax  rebates, better rate of interests along with a reduction in corporate tax rate by the government, will help us achieve this target.”

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