Oct 14, 2009, 04.47 PM | Source: CNBC-TV18
The governmentís stimulus, she says, has been effective. She feels the government's actions are paying off.
There is a change of guard at industry body ASSOCHAM. Piramal Healthcareís Director Swati Piramal has taken charge as the first lady-President of the apex chamber. Piramal replaces JSW Steel's Sajjan Jindal. So, what will be ASSOCHAMís focus areas under the new President?
Swati Piramal, President, ASSOCHAM, and Director, Piramal Healthcare , has a four point agenda ‑ to look at youth and re-energising youth, to look at earth technologies, to look at health, which is a much neglected sector, and last but not least growth how to get growth across all the sectors.
The governmentís stimulus, she says, has been effective. She feels the government's actions are paying off. "The good news for the Indian economy is that the stimulus package is working. The government has done all the right things. We are really climbing back. I think as a Chamber we are concerned about two major financial initiatives next year. One will be GST, which is going to be implemented 2010, and then the Direct Tax Code in 2011. All our experts are working and looking at the fine print."
According to Piramal, ASSOCHAM is concerned about the government's decision to tax assets, levy MAT (Minimum Alternate Tax) on even loss making companies, idea of partial control, and Goods and Services Tax (GST). "With direct tax we are concerned with two major things. We are looking at taxing of assets because that s a new thing which no other country in the world has done. We are just wondering how and why is it happening. Secondly, MAT even on loss making companies. This idea of partial control is also an issue. So, there are four or five issues in the direct tax code which we brought to the FM and to the Vigyan Bhavan two days ago. The GST is really the execution or implementation. Everybody agrees it is the best thing but we have to implement and execute it really well."
Here is a verbatim transcript of the exclusive interview with Swati Piramal on CNBC-TV18. Also see the accompanying video.
Q: What are you planning to do to reshape the agenda of the ASSOCHAM?
A: I am privileged to serve as Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Indiaís (ASSOCHAM) President. I am first woman President in more than 90 years. I have made a four point agenda, (1) to look at youth and reenergising youth (2) to look at earth technologies, (3) to look at health, which is a much neglected sector, and last but not the least growth. How to get growth across all the sectors? So, these are the four sectors that I am going to focus on this year.
Q: The Indian economy is slowly and steadily coming out of the economic slowdown. In your consultation with the government what will ASSOCHAM put forth on the table?
A: Itís good news for the Indian economy that the stimulus package is working. The government has done all the right things and we are climbing back. As a chamber we are concerned about two major financial initiatives next year, one will be goods and services tax (GST) which is going to be implemented 2010 and the Direct Tax Code in 2011. All our experts are working and looking at the fine print. Itís a nice and simple and forward looking code but in the fine print there are issues and concerns raised by all the chambers and we are looking forward to a fantastic new code which makes everybody pleased so that they can quickly go forward.
Q: What are those concerns particularly on the direct tax code and on GST that you spoke about since the government has also invited feedback on both these counts?
A: In direct tax, we are concerned about two major things. One is the taxing of assets because thatís a new thing which no other country in the world has done. We are wondering how and why itís happening. Second is minimum alternate tax (MAT) even on loss making companies. The idea of partial control is also an issue. So, there are four-five important issues in the Direct Tax Code, which we brought to the Finance Minister and Vigyan Bhavan two days ago. The GST is really about execution, implementation. Everybody agrees itís a best thing but we have to implement and execute it well. I think we did make few mistakes in value added tax (VAT). We donít want to repeat them. We like to execute it brilliantly.
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