Delhi: In a pre-budget meeting with finance minister
P. Chidambaram, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce
and Industry (Ficci) presented a range of fiscal and technology
related policy initiatives to stimulate industrial growth
that would encourage value addition and also create employment
in the country.
Leading industrialists took the opportunity to drive home
the message that direct taxes burden of the corporates
is high, when compared with Asean rates, and this was
impacting their competitiveness. A section of industry
suggested cut in corporate tax rate to 25 per cent.
India Inc also made a pitch for the scrapping of the fringe
benefit tax (FBT) or "if not scrapped they said it
should be simplified and genuine business expenses must
be allowed as deduction," said N. Srinivasan, vice-president,
Ficci also made a unanimous call for a hike in the depreciation
rate on plant and machinery under the income-tax law from
15 per cent to 25 per cent. As part of tax reform measures,
Ficci has proposed
abolition of dividend distribution tax. For widening the
tax base, Srinivasan said that Ficci has suggested to
the Government to bring the "rural rich" into
the income-tax net.