Govt needs to turn business-friendly, simplify laws

Snehdeep Aggarwal, Founder and Chairman, Bhartiya International

Dear Mr Finance Minister,

Our political leaders claim we are making big strides as a developing nation. But the truth is, compared to the rest of the world or even countries like China (a nation always mentioned alongside ours), the processes involved in setting up a new business are complex and unfriendly. While things are improving in a few states, the other states are lagging.

Falling at hurdles

Our biggest grouse is that dealing with government is a nightmarish experience because processes are complicated and hierarchical. There is no single-window concept in our country! For clearances even in the smallest of projects, multiple agencies are involved and this leads to uncertainty and delays for business owners.

We therefore urge you, Mr Finance Minister, to simplify the laws and make them more business friendly. We also request you to create a stable policy and regulatory environment. Frequent changes in these areas lead to uncertainty and delays and this eventually mars progress, especially of small business owners.

Support exports

We also believe the current regulatory and tax regime does not sufficiently support the export sector. Appropriate incentives and tax breaks to promote exports would offset high transaction costs as well as the additional costs attributable to inadequate infrastructure both in the social and manufacturing sectors.

While on the issue of taxation, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that although 25 per cent of our profits go towards taxation, the tax collection system is tardy. In countries such as Switzerland, assesses can have a negotiated tax settlement in advance of starting a business. This gives them a sense of certainty and the settlement is valid for the life of the business, unlike in India where there are delays in just about everything that concerns a judicial procedure.

Stop wasting tax revenue

While you have very clear policies on the corporate tax structure, we are very disappointed that a large part of the tax revenue is spent on populist schemes for political gains rather than long-term development of the economy. We are compelled to point out that the need of the hour is to use tax revenues on improvement of infrastructure, healthcare and education in India.

Bhartiya International Ltd is a player in the leather garment business and earns a majority of its revenue from exports to European countries.

As told to Gargi Banerjee

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