Pre-Bud­get meet: Farm sec­tor seeks more in­vest­ments; In­dia Inc wants tax sops

The Hindu Business Line - - NEWS -

Kick­ing off the Bud­get con­sul­ta­tions with agri­cul­ture ex­perts and In­dia Inc, as she prepares for her maiden Bud­get to be pre­sented on July 5, Fi­nance and Cor­po­rate Af­fairs Min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man, said that con­cerns of the farm sec­tor are high on pri­or­ity list of the gov­ern­ment.

Ex­perts from the farm sec­tor sug­gested mea­sures to im­prove the food pro­cess­ing sec­tor and in­tro­duc­tion of tech­nol­ogy-in­ten­sive pro­cesses in the non-farm sec­tor and treat­ing so­lar en­ergy as third crop to aug­ment in­come of farm­ers.

. In­cen­tivis­ing and pop­u­lar­is­ing us­age of or­ganic ma­nure for im­prov­ing car­bon con­tent in soil, re­solv­ing GST is­sues re­lated to Farm­ers Pro­duc­ers Or­gan­i­sa­tions (FPO), in­cen­tive for agro pro­cess­ing Nir­mala Sithara­man, Fi­nance Min­is­ter

units in the border dis­tricts and en­hanc­ing in­vest­ments in R&D in the agri­cul­ture sec­tor were also part of the sug­ges­tions.

Other sug­ges­tions in­cluded fill­ing up of va­can­cies in agri­cul­tural uni­ver­si­ties, in­creas­ing in­vest­ment in mi­cro ir­ri­ga­tion and so­lar pumps, fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives to the States for im­ple­ment­ing agri­cul­tural mar­ket re­forms, pro­mo­tion of hand­looms and hand­i­crafts in the North-Eastern States for em­ploy­ment gen­er­a­tion and en­hanc­ing ru­ral in­come, cre­at­ing of ag­gre­ga­tors for farm equip­ment and pro­mo­tion of non-IT re­lated ru­ral start-ups. Few sug­ges­tions for the dairy sec­tor were also sub­mit­ted re­lated to tax and duty struc­ture and im­prov­ing Prime Min­is­ter Kr­ishi Sin­chai Yo­jna (PMKSY).

In­dia Inc put for­ward sug­ges­tions con­cern­ing in­dus­trial sec­tor, land re­forms, spe­cial eco­nomic zones, in­dus­trial pol­icy, in­vest­ment in re­search and de­vel­op­ment, sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of tax regimes, tap­ping po­ten­tial in tourism sec­tor. It also made sug­ges­tions on For­eign Di­rect In­vest­ment (FDI), Good & Ser­vices Tax (GST), Cap­i­tal Gains Tax, Cor­po­rate Tax, MSME sec­tor, e-com­merce, skill de­vel­op­ment, ed­u­ca­tion and health­care sec­tors, start-ups, me­dia and en­ter­tain­ment sec­tor and food manufactur­ing in­dus­try.

In its sub­mis­sion, the CII called for a sim­pli­fied tax­a­tion regime be­sides other ideas for pro­mot­ing growth and in­vest­ment. “For this to fruc­tify, a time­line for a tax­a­tion regime (Di­rect Tax) needs to be an­nounced where the high­est rate should be 18 per cent in ad­di­tion to re­mov­ing all ex­emp­tions and not do­ing grand­fa­ther­ing,” Vikram S Kir­loskar, Pres­i­dent, CII, said. A three-year roadmap for re­duc­ing the In­come-Tax Act doc­u­ment to 4-5 pages was also sought.

Fur­ther, in or­der to bring down the high tax rates on cap­i­tal which is a ma­jor de­ter­rent for flow of cap­i­tal, the CII Pres­i­dent sug­gested bring­ing down the Div­i­dend Dis­tri­bu­tion Tax to 10 per cent, from 20 per cent. It should also not be taxed at the hands of the in­vestor.

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