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Home > Business > Business Headline > Report

What I couldn't tell the FM (Part III)

January 21, 2003 13:04 IST

With the Finance Minister deciding against holding pre-Budget meetings this year,this series tries to look at what leading businessmen, economists and politicians wanted to tell the minister, but couldn't do so:

Kiran Karnik, president, Nasscom

Let us not change the rules of the game mid-way: commitments made, including those on full exemption from taxes on export profits, must be honoured.

The infotech industry in the country has shown its resilience in difficult times and continues to be on track for its export target of over $50 billion by the year 2008.

The IT sector should not have the rug pulled from under its feet, especially when the global economic scenario continues to be bleak and competitors are doing their best to catch up.

There is a need to rectify the unintended consequences of the amendments to 10A/10B of the Income-Tax Act, resulting in holding back acquisitions and mergers.

There are other minor but irksome regulatory and procedural issues that cause unnecessary difficulties, particularly with regard to Customs bonding. These need to be corrected at the earliest.

We would like the government to pursue vigorously the finalisation of the Totalisation Agreement with the US, and the tax withholding issue with Japan and other countries.

We also count on the government to protect and further the Indian IT industry's interests in the negotiations in the GATS/WTO. The software industry has done the country proud. Let us not kill the goose that continues to lay golden eggs.

Sector-wise: Automobiles

Kelkar says:

  • No change in the import duty because local manufacturers need time to adjust after quantitative restrictions were removed last year.
  • Excise duty should be reduced from 30-20 per centover the next three years, and
  • 20 per cent should be the eventual parking rate for excise duty.

CII says:

  • Special excise duty should be reduced to 8 per centin 2003-04 and should be abolished in 2004-05.
  • Customs duty concession of 5 per centon CNG kits should be extended to raw materials used in making these kits.
  • Customs duty on vital inputs for pollution-free vehicles should be reduced to 5 per cent.

FICCI says:

  • Import duty anomalies should be removed to encourage local value addition against import of finished goods.
  • Import duty on raw materials for catalytic converters should be reduced.

Part I, Part II

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