India Inc asks Jaitley for clear roadmap of corporate tax cuts

New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) India Inc on Wednesday urged Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for a clear roadmap in the next budget for implementing the decided cut in corporate tax rate from 30 percent to 25 percent saying the withdrawal of incentives should go along with the reduction in tax rate, besides removal of minimum alternate tax (MAT).

“As far as taxation is concerned, we have asked for a clear roadmap on the 25 percent (corporate tax). We are totally in support of removal of incentives and allowances,” Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) president Sumit Mazumder told reporters here after the pre-Budget consultation meeting with the finance minister.

“The withdrawal of incentives should be done in a calibrated manner, in line with the reduction in tax rate and keeping in mind the competitiveness of the sector,” he said, according to a CII statement here.

FICCI president Harshavardhan Neotia said the chamber has suggested phasing out the MAT “once all the incentives and allowances are reduced”.

“There is a need to widen the tax base – all incomes (irrespective of the source) above a certain threshold need to be taxed. To ensure that there is no tax evasion, the government should consider making filing of returns/declaration of all incomes mandatory over a particular threshold, say Rs.10 lakhs,” FICCI said in its pre-budget submission.

“As the government draws up a plan to eliminate exemptions and reduce the corporate tax rate, we feel that it must simultaneously look at reduction in the Minimum Alternate Tax rate,” it added.

Neotia told reporters that FICCI also recommended continuation of investments in the public sector.

On the proposed goods and services tax (GST), he said the industry bodies reiterated their commitment that “we stand by the government and support the government for its implementation”.

“He (Jaitley) did refer to it (GST) obliquely. It will happen soon,” Neotia said.

Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) president Sunil Kanoria said he suggested the tax regime should be improved along with ease of doing business.

“We recommended measures such as easy access to capital for MSMEs and creation of start-up hubs. We hope that GST is introduced soon,” he said.

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) suggested removing the inverted duty structure anomalies in the budget as it not only effects exports but also the manufacturing sector.

“We have demanded that for the exporting community, service tax should be exempted for exports,” said FIEO president S.C.Ralhan.

IT industry body Nasscom president R.Chandrashekhar said it has recommended mitigation of tax liabilities, particularly of taxes that are collected upfront.

“Most of the start-ups in the initial stage do not actually have too much of revenue and even less in terms of profits,” he told reporters.

“The discussions with the finance minister were on issues related to start-ups, e-commerce and Internet and mobile companies. We are having a separate discussion with the finance minister tomorrow (Thursday),” Chandrashekhar said.

–Indo-Asian News Service

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