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Provide industry status to real estate sector

March 14, 2012 19:50 IST
Praveen Nigam, Founder & Director - Amplus Consulting

Real estate is a sector which generates second highest employment and contributes approximately 5% of the GDP of the country. It is the fastest growing sector with ever growing concerns.

Keeping in mind certain inherent concerns which the industry encapsulates, the severe credit crunch is adversely impacting the "Industry".

The fact remains that Real Estate is not even recognized as an industry, although keeping in view that it promotes various other industries like steel, cement & more. It is argued that it should be treated as "Priority Sector". This will help the sector with better availability of funds. FDI & ECB norms should also be relaxed in the coming budget to ease in fund availability.

From a tax perspective the budget should extend the tax holidays u/s 80IB for integrated townships. The deduction on interest on loan repayment by individuals also needs to be hiked.

From an indirect tax perspective budget should address abolition of service tax for residential apartment below a logical threshold. Presence of real estate sector can be gauged by the fact that 5% of the global carbon emissions are attributable to this sector. It is only fair for real estate to get its due share in forthcoming budget.

Implement GST at the earliest

Makrand Appalwar, Chairman and Managing Director, Emmbi Polyarns

Faster GST implementation is the most important requirement today and Government should kick start it at the earliest. Also development of port infrastructure is very vital as the efficiency of exports depends majorly on it.

We have a single port operational here in Mumbai and if any fault happens at the back end, entire operations suffer.

Extend fiscal benefits during post R & D and pre-launch stage too

Pawan Chaudhary, Chairman & Managing Director (CMD), Venus Remedies

The industry expects impetus to research as R&D expenditure in India is still on lower side and for a sustainable growth India needs more and more R&D. Thus, the weighted deduction contained u/s 35 of the Income Tax Act should be extended with an enhanced vigor.

Besides covering R&D expenditure, Government should also think about helping companies to enable them to take their new inventions to the global markets. This could be done in the form of additional benefits during post R&D and pre-launch stage.

IPR taxation is another area where India has yet to take any initiative. Many European Countries have 'Patent Box' schemes to provide special status to income from patents. It is high time India should take a plunge on something like that.

Apart from this, the fiscal incentives in Baddi have helped a great degree to bring a lot of pharma units in the state. The benefits u/s 80-IC have a sunset clause of 31st March 2012. Government can consider extending the same.

The substantial expansion clause in the section can be relaxed a bit to help small companies. As of now, there are no income tax benefits to exporters and since pharma industry contributes a lot to the Country's foreign exchange reserves, it will be good to reinstate certain benefits like the erstwhile deduction under section 80HHC.

Surcharge and Education Cess were meant to be a temporary tool for tax collection but have outlived their age. Government should remove these to bring rationality into the tax structure. Further, MAT rates are very high and impact cash flows of the companies and should be brought down.

Most of the pharma companies have their subsidiaries or arms overseas and are subject to international tax. Time has come to bring clarity on the transfer pricing regime by introducing advanced pricing mechanism and safe harbor rules.

Further, no increase in excise and service tax rates would benefit pharma companies. The existing anomaly between the bulk drug and formulations needs to be removed as excise duty on bulk drug is 10% against 4% on formulations.

Union Budget 2012-13: Complete coverage
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