Moneycontrol
Dec 06, 2017 06:36 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Budget 2018: Industry bodies seek lower corporate tax, creation of National Power Distribution Co

“In terms of the taxation requirement, if we see corporate taxes across the world, the trend is that people are reducing corporate taxes. India is among the highest.,” Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) President Shobhna Kamineni said after the pre-budget meeting with the Finance Minister and top ministry officials.

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Key industry bodies today pitched for lower corporate tax, consolidation of tax rate under GST, and setting up of a National Power Distribution Company (NPDC) for creating unified market for power, among others, as a part of pre-budget proposals.

“In terms of the taxation requirement, if we see corporate taxes across the world, the trend is that people are reducing corporate taxes. India is among the highest.,” Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) President Shobhna Kamineni said after the pre-budget meeting with the Finance Minister and top ministry officials.

The road map for reduction in corporate tax rate for India should include reducing the corporate tax rate to 18 percent at the earliest with withdrawal of tax incentives and exemptions and withdrawal of surcharges and cesses, CII said in a statement.

The industry body has also suggested creation of NPDC, which will create a unified market for power.

The NPDC can buy power from stranded capacities, which will prevent distribution from becoming stressed assets.

“This will also help formulate a national pricing benchmark, which is needed for increased transparency and simplification in pricing” CII said.

The industry has also called for consolidation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates into three slabs instead of four.

“If you see today that GST has actually increased the tax base. We have to take advantage. This is the time, this is the idea we really need to look forward to. In few points, in GST, we understand that it's a work in progress which we greatly appreciate but few refinements can be done, few simplifications can be done, specially central registration for companies that are pan-India,” Kameneni said.

CII also recommended that the unutilised land banks available with various central governments, airports, railways, with army should be put into a central land bank fund, which can be utilised for more industry.

According to industry body FICCI, there is also a need for anti-profiteering provisions under GST, specifically related to it's applicability at product or entry level, examination at state or central level.

The body had also sought further consolidation and privatisation of some of the public sector banks, which would result in having five-six public sector banks

The industry has also called for reduction in the personal income tax rates by increasing the thresholds from the point of view of augmenting demand in the economy.
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