New Delhi: Finance Minister P Chidambaram will start pre-budget consultations with representatives of various sectors, starting with those from the agriculture on 7 January.
An official source said Chidambaram has invited “suggestions on inclusive growth, investment in infrastructure sector apart from restructuring the food and fertiliser subsidy without hurting the poor people.”
He has also invited captains of the industry, economists and trade union leaders next week, before giving final touches to the last full-fledged budget of the UPA regime.
The term of the present government will expire in May 2009.
His decision to start consultations with the farm sector representatives assumes importance as the government is actively considering to announce a financial package, estimated at Rs30,000 crore, for debt-ridden agriculture.
In this regard, Vaidyanathan Committee has also submitted its report to the government.
India Inc is also expected to raise the issue of adverse impact of rupee appreciation against dollar, besides seeking cuts in excise duties, corporate tax. It is also likely to urge the government to delay the proposed cut in customs duties on manufacturing items.
The industry bodies like CII have sought abolition of surcharge on corporate tax, dividend distribution tax and minimum alternative tax (MAT).
Meanwhile, trade union leaders and economists may raise the issue of enhancing income tax exemptions, hike in interest rate on provident fund and effective measures to arrest rising prices of essential commodities.