CII bats for GST to boost confidence of investors

New Delhi, 30 May-2014, IANS: The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has urged the government to implement early the goods and services tax (GST) to lift investor sentiment and put the economy back on track.

CII bats for GST to boost confidence of investors

CII bats for GST to boost confidence of investors

In terms of stimulus, nothing can be better than a well-crafted GST, CII told the finance ministry in a pre-budget consultation meeting here Friday.

The CII also stressed that a road map for adhering to the fiscal deficit target should be drawn up and announced in the Budget.

“Fiscal consolidation is an important constituent of the reform agenda and imperative to maintain India’s image as a stable investment destination. Hence, it would be important for the government to spell out a strategy for revival of growth while maintaining fiscal prudence,” Chandrajit Banerjee, CII director general, said.

CII said a large part of investor sentiments are determined by ease of doing business in India, where the country is ranked at 134 out of 189 countries.

It said the government should bring a tax regime which is simple, stable and non-adversarial.

Issues like doing away with retrospective amendments, further deferring General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR), abolition of Minimum Alternate Tax (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.

CII further suggested the extension of short-term stimulus package involving reduction of excise duty on certain goods up to March 31, 2015.

The industry body urged the government to prioritise fast-tracking project clearance. It advocated the promotion of manufacturing as one of the priorities to kick start the flagging economy.

Meanwhile, the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry has appealed to the finance ministry to raise the limit of medical reimbursement for salaried persons to a minimum level of Rs.50,000 as also hike the deduction ceiling of interest on housing loan to a minimum of Rs.5 lakh per annum, besides raising the present income tax limit for taxation purpose to Rs.2.5 lakh per annum.