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India Inc lay out agenda for the new government

May 19, 2014 19:23 IST

Pitching for a more industry-friendly business climate, India Inc on Monday asked the incoming government led by Narendra Modi to initiate steps aimed at promoting investments and reviving manufacturing, while putting in place a non adversarial tax regime.  

"They need to resolve the retrospective and other taxation matters and basically ensure that environment is conducive for taxpayers in India," Ficci President Sidharth Birla told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.  

However, when asked about the industry chamber's stance on FDI in multi-brand retail, which the BJP has opposed in the past, Birla said: "We are in-principal against reversal of policy. Our position remains the same. We would like to see FDI in retail".            

Ficci also suggested rollout of the Goods & Services Tax (GST) in 2015, revisiting subsidies and revamping Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) for asset creation, containing inflation and review of the Direct Taxes Code (DTC), among other things.  

Besides, unveiling its agenda for the new government, CII President Ajay Shriram said the focus should be on promoting investments, revival of manufacturing, containing inflation, boosting exports, fiscal consolidation, ease of doing business, promoting savings, financing growth and attention to implementation.  

"GDP growth could be targeted to rise to 6.5 per cent initially, going up to 8.5 per cent by 2016-17. The economy is beset with complex problems and trying to find short term solutions to long term issues would be counterproductive," Shriram said in a statement.    

Meanwhile, expressing strong reservations on the new Land Acquisition Act, Assocham President Rana Kapoor said the immediate solution lies in the Centre and states teaming together to create land banks which should be then allotted to the industry for manufacturing and infrastructure facilities.

The new Land Acquisition Act to provide just and fair compensation to farmers came into force from January 1, 2014.  

The Act makes mandatory the consent of 80 per cent of people whose land is taken for private projects. In the case of Public-Private Partnership projects, the bill makes mandatory obtaining consent of 70 per cent of the people whose land will be acquired.            

On the tax environment, Kapoor said the government needs to send a strong message that the tax regime would be clear-cut, non-discretionary to different interpretations and under no circumstances would be retrospective.            

Emphasising on the need to tame price rise in order to stimulate growth and lower the cost of capital, he said the government should aim at taming inflation by monitoring the CPI-WPI data the way Sensex is monitored.


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