It’s a rare industry that does not have any demands of the finance minister. Almost all segments of industry have met the minister since January to present their demands. Some want tax exemptions. Others want incentives. And still others want changes in the direct and indirect tax regime to protect them from overseas competitors or accelerate growth as the case may be.
The predominant demand, however, revolves around income tax. The pharmaceutical industry, for instance, wants an increase in the magnitude of the exemption it can claim on taxes on account of its research and development expenditure. The software services industry wants the continuation of an earlier tax holiday for the sector that is set to expire in 2009. And the real estate industry wants all rental income to be exempt from income tax.
There are other demands as well: from expected ones related to the scrapping of the fringe benefit tax, a levy on the money companies spend on their employees to unexpected ones related to being given an “industry” status (this is one of the demands of the fast growing retail industry in the country). An industry status qualifies a business for several tax and other incentives.
Mint presents a compilation of industry demands and, in the case of some industries, an expert view on the demands of the industry.
(Compiled by: Ajayan, Ammar Master, P.R. Sanjai, Tarun Shukla, Regina Anthony, C.H. Unnikrishnan, Bhuma Shrivastava, Saumya Roy, P. Manoj, Ankur Relia, Pankaj Mishra and Shabana Hussain)
(Illustrations: Malay Karmakar)