Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
26-November-2016 20:15 IST
FM: Asks Captains of Indian Trade and Industry to come forward and make increased Private Investment especially in Infrastructure Sector ;

Holds his Fourth Pre-Budget Consultative Meeting for the Union Budget 2017-18 with the representatives of Indian Trade and Industry Associations/Groups in Delhi today.

The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that in the First Half of the Current Financial Year 2016-17, the Indian Economy has achieved robust growth rate despite volatility and uncertainty in global economy. He said that this was made possible by a slew of policy measures undertaken by the present Government including enhanced public investment, kick starting stalled projects, improving the status of financial inclusion significantly among others. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley was making the Opening Remarks during his Fourth Pre-Budget Consultative Meeting with the representatives of Indian Trade and Industry Associtions/Groups here today.

The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley asked the representatives of Business and Trade Sector to increase the private sector spending especially in infrastructure sector. He said that the Government has taken many steps to improve governance by bringing in transparency and efficiency through systematic changes. Shri Jaitley said that the present Government has given greater thrust on fiscal federalism and improving business environment through reforms in policies and regulation among others. Shri Jaitley said that strong macro and micro economic indicators including fiscal fundamentals and follow of fiscal discipline present sound prospects for the Indian economy in future as well.

Various suggestions were received during the aforesaid Consultative Meeting. Major recommendations include h reduction in Corporate Tax and withdrawal of tax incentives which will result in higher collections due to better compliance and will make India an attractive investment destination. Other suggestions include complete elimination or a major reduction in Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) and higher public investment in infrastructure and social sector. Other suggestions include higher investment in irrigation and rural infrastructure sector as this will increase the spending capacity of the rural people which in turn will create demand for various items and increased economic activity. Other suggestions included focus on skill development by focussing more resources on training of trainers’ Programmes. Other suggestions include tax concession to both individual tax payer and Corporate Sector. Minimum exemption limit in case of Personal Income Tax be raised to Rs.5 lakh. After demonetisation, since banks will have lot of funds, therefore, interest rate be reduced for manufacturing and other sectors especially for micro, small and medium enterprises.

Other Suggestions include that States levy heavy taxes on industry especially manufacturing sector mainly in higher energy/power charges which make them uncompetitive. Another suggestion was made to make instrument of cheque more stronger especially after demonetisation by blocking the amount of cheque in the drawer’s account and making amendments in Sec 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act for heavy penalty in case of bouncing of cheques. Other suggestions include measures be taken to revive private sector investment especially in infrastructure sector. Suggestion was made to give infrastructure status to Broadcasting Sector. Another suggestion was to give incentives to promote women entrepreneurs.

Along with the Finance Minister Shri Jaitley, the Pre-Budget Consultative Meeting with the representatives of Indian Industry and Trade Groups was also attended among others by Shri Ashok Lavasa, Finance Secretary, Shri Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, DEA, Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Revenue Secretary, Ms. Anjuly Chib Duggal, Secretary, Financial Services, Ms Rita A Teotia, Secretary, Department of Commerce, Shri Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, DIPP and Dr. Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser (CEA).

The representatives of the Indian Trade and Industry Associations/Groups present during the meeting included Dr. Naushad Forbes, President, CII, Shri Sunil Kanoria, President, ASSOCHAM, Shri Harshavardhan Neotia, President, FICCI, Shri B.N.Kalyani, Bharat Forge, Dr. Rajani Aggarwal, Federation of Indian Women Entrepreneurs (FIWE), Shri Vipul Shah, Former Chairman, Gems &Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Shri S.C. Ralhan, President, FIEO, Shri G.M.Rao, Chairman & MD, GMR Infra, Shri Shashi Ruia, Essar Group, Shri Rajan Bharti Mittal, Vice-Chairman, Bharati Enterprises, Shri Mukesh Mohan Gupta, CIMSME, Shri Satish Pai, President, AAI&CMD,NALCO, Shri Harish Ahuja, MD, Shahi Exportys Pvt.Ltd., Shri Harry Dhaul, DG,IPPAI, Shri Ashish Gupta, Consulting CEO, Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH), Shri P.K. Shah, Chairman, EEPC India, Shri R.K.Sharma, Secretary General, FIMI, Shri Sunil R Zode, Chairman, ICCAA, Shri Raja M.Shanmugham,Tripur Exporters Association, Shri Om Prakash Mittal, Laghu Udyog Bharti, Shri R.Ganpati,SICCI, Shri Shailendra Chuksey,Cement Manufacturers’Association, Shri Sangam Kurade, President, Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME), and Shri Girish Srivastava, Secretary General, IBF among others.