The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman virtually held the first pre-Budget consultation meeting, wherein industry bodies pitched for widening the tax base, boosting private investments, consumption and employment creation.
Apart from industry bodies—such as the Confederation of Indian Industry, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India—the meeting on Monday involved stakeholder groups for infrastructure and climate change.
Prominent Business leaders like Sanjiv Goenka, chairman of the RPSG Group, Naveen Munjal Director of Hero Electric Vehicles , BVN Rao Business Chairman of the GMR Group were also among the attendees.
Ahead of the upcoming Union Budget, there are fears of a recession impacting advanced and developing economies. The Finance Ministry had additional budgetary subsidy outlay in this fiscal, owing to supply chain hurdles caused by the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
In his presentation to the Ministry, Sanjiv Bajaj, president of CII, said, “Global uncertainties and the global growth slowdown have already started to impact our exports, after a stellar performance last fiscal.”
Bajaj also recommended that the ministry increase capex spend to Rs 10 lakh crore in the coming Budget.
“Global uncertainty may impact the incipient revival in private capex and hence, public capex is critical to support demand and growth,” he said.
According to Saket Dalmia, president of PHDCCI, infrastructure investment in the economy must not be less than 10% of the GDP “to achieve state of art infrastructure and to become a developed economy by 2047”.
“…at this juncture, calibrated steps to enhance domestic sources of growth would be crucial to maintain the steady economic growth trajectory,” he said.
Key suggestions from Bajaj of CII included fiscal consolidation by retaining budgeted fiscal deficit targets, with a fiscal deficit target of 6.4% of GDP for this financial year, reducing it to 6% in FY24 and 4.5% by FY26.
Bajaj suggested revenue augmentation via aggressive focus on privatisation higher asset monetisation receipts and fulfillment of Department of Investment and Public Asset Management targets, and increasing the tax/GDP ratio to at least 16% from current 11.7%.
Some of the recommendations by CII included:
* Announce an Employment Linked Incentive scheme for services sectors like tourism, logistics, retail, film, animation and gaming
* Expedite DESH Bill to replace existing SEZ Act and implement Niti Aayog’s recommendations on creating coastal economic zones
*Institute an Urban Employment Guarentee Program similar to MNREGA
Some of the recommendations by PHDCCI included:
Increase tax rebate benefits for consumption expenditure to Rs 5 lakh per annum from current limit of Rs 2 lakh/annum .
Exports of agri and food processing products should be increased to the level of $100 billion in next three years, from the current level of around $50 billion (2021-22).
Reforms in rural infrastructure logistics and cold chain are required to boost food processing industry and rural entrepreneurship.
Some of the recommendations by ASSOCHAM included
The Finance Ministry will be meeting various stakeholders throughout the week till Nov. 28.