New Delhi: Nearly 80% CEOs, having affiliation with industry chamber, Assocham, have strongly pitched for bringing in agriculture sector into tax net as also urged for waiver of 10% surcharge on corporate tax and hike in personal tax ceiling to Rs1.5 lakh in view of increasing cost of inflation index.
At a random survey carried out on agriculture income versus budget proposals for 2008-09, released today before the industry’s pre-budget consultations with the Finance Minister scheduled for 8January, over 70% of CEOs pitched for a reduction in excise duty to 12%.
* Collective concern was expressed on industry’s demand for bringing in agriculture sector into the tax net and on the need to address it on priority
* Income-tax ceiling should be raised to Rs1.5 lakh with standard deductions to the extent of Rs50,000; to be accorded to each tax payer and beyond an annual income of Rs5 lakh, the slab for taxation should be brought to 25% against 30% now
* 10% surcharge on corporate tax to be abolished and rate of corporate tax allowed to stay at 30% in view of better corporate performance, particularly in 2007-08
* 45% CEOs felt that the Finance Minister should lay down a road map for GST to be placed as scheduled by 2010, braving political compulsions of the UPA government
* With placement of GST, revenues of the government could go up as in the case of VAT execution
* 60% CEOs felt the need for rationalization of customs tariff to reduce input costs in engineering, heavy engineering, automobile, refining and exploration so that manufacturing picks up required pace
* On rupee appreciation, nearly 45% CEOs demanded relief measures for stressed sectors - textiles and leather in particular so that exports do not become unviable as chances for rupee further get stronger against dollar brighten in next fiscal
* Over 40% emphasized that under present CENVAT rules, there is no clarity about availment and utilization of CENVAT credit of service tax paid on input services as rules are not pragmatic; Assocham proposed replacement of existing rules as per CENVAT credit
*Over 50% CEOs said that service tax should be exempted in case of non-profit making organizations including chambers of commerce and other industry associations as their motive is not profit making but to serve their members from whom they earn revenues for their survival
* Pre-budget consultations with FM may yield a concurrence on receiving financial packages at concessional rates to encourage domestic corporates to go out aggressively for outbound mergers and acquisitions