Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said reviving manufacturing, diversifying its base and equipping it for robust long-run expansion would be crucial for India’s growth prospects. Addressing captains of the industry at a customary pre-budget meeting, the finance minister also said that the government will take all measures to improve India’s ranking on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index.
The implementation of goods and services tax (GST) would improve the tax administration regime, while bringing in more transparency in the system.
Business leaders urged Jaitley to chalk out a non-adversarial tax regime while restricting the minimum alternate tax to 10% to boost manufacturing. They underlined the need to carry on with the reforms process to put India back on the growth path while giving a fillip to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s signature ‘Make in India’ campaign. The industry also sought further deferment on the implementation of the controversial general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) and pitched for lowering of interest rates to boost investments.
It was also suggested that a woman director on boards of public sector banks and financial institutions be made mandatory.
Pitching for a rise in public investments, especially in infrastructure sector in the upcoming budget, industry captains said immediate steps must be taken to revive economic growth.
“We want both public and private investments to co-exist,” CII president Ajay Shriram said.
“I requested for rationalisation of tax regime... there is a revenue target given to tax officers and because they have to attain that, they often use irrational tax demands and coercive methods,” Ficci president Jyotsna Suri added.
Minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha, finance secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, revenue secretary Shaktikanta Das, financial services secretary Hasmukh Adhia among others were present. Business leaders including Essar group chairman Shashi Ruia, Maruti chairman RC Bhargava and Raymond Group CMD Gautam Singhania attended the meeting.