The government would spell out the list of exemptions to be phased out as part of a larger exercise to bring down the corporate tax rate to 25%, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday.
“I have announced a roadmap for direct taxation... to bring down the corporate tax down to 25% by phasing out some of those exemptions... We are going to put in public domain in the next few days some of those exemptions that we intend to phase out in the first round,” Jaitley said.
He was speaking at the National Strategy Day in India, organised by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
The first tranche will be announced in the forthcoming Union Budget, Jaitley added.
The finance minister also said the government has managed to address several tax legacy issues, which even include those relating to the retrospective tax amendment, though a couple of issues still remain to be resolved.
“The fear of retrospective taxation has gone... two-three of those problems remain and they remain because of legal reasons,” Jaitley said, adding that the government is looking to resolve these as well.
Addressing the captains of the industry, Jaitley also expressed confidence that the much-awaited goods and services tax (GST) bill, which was slated to be implemented from April 1, would be passed soon.
“GST is only a question of time,” he said.
Jaitley also said that there was visible “trickle of growth” in the manufacturing sector, especially with the increase in the indirect tax collection.
He said the indirect taxes -– which include the additional revenue measures -– increased 36.5% from April to October period in the current financial year compared to the corresponding period in the previous fiscal. The government announced raising the excise duty on petrol and diesel with a view of boosting revenue as international oil prices slid.
“I can now see trickles of growth... one of the greatest positives I can see is a huge increase in indirect tax revenues,” he said.
He noted that the government’s “subsidy reform” has helped in saving a “lot of money”.