CII pitches for extending stimulus package in Union Budget

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Industry body CII today pitched for extending the short-term stimulus package, early roll-out of GST and rationalisation of subsidies, among other measures, in the first Union Budget under Narendra Modi-led government.

The industry chamber put forth its agenda for growth and economic revival in a pre-budget consultation meeting with Revenue Secretary Rajiv Takru and other Finance Ministry officials.

"CII has strongly urged for early implementation of GST as a surefire means of lifting investor sentiment and putting the Indian economy back on track. We have also suggested the extension of short-term stimulus package involving reduction of excise duty on certain goods up to March 31, 2015," CII said in a statement.

The industry body CII also asked the government to slash the excise duty rate from the current level of 12 per cent to 10 per cent across-the-board to revive demand in the economy.

The industry chamber further suggested that a 10 per cent rationalisation of subsidy expenditure could result in savings to the tune of Rs 25,000 crore.

Among other suggestions, it called for a holding company structure model for PSU banks, dilution of government stake in public sector banks to 51 per cent and aggressively pursuing disinvestment for revenue generation.

To expedite clearances to a higher number of projects, CII suggested that the threshold limit of Cabinet Committee on Investments (CCI) be reduced from the current level of Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 500 crore.

To provide a fillip to manufacturing, the industry chamber recommended investment allowance as an incentive for capital formation in the manufacturing domain.

It also asked the government to consider tax incentives such as allowing 25 per cent accelerated depreciation for investments in plant and machinery, reducing Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) and dividend distribution tax rates to 10 per cent.

Among other suggestions, CII pitched for a simple, stable and non-adversarial tax regime.

"Doing away with retrospective amendments, abolition of MAT on infrastructure and SEZs, improving the dispute resolution mechanism by designating it as a quasi judicial body and providing a timeline for implementation of reforms in tax administration would restore India as an attractive destination for doing business," it said.

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