The infrastructure industry on Monday demanded the rationalization of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), easier bank credit and increased government spending at the usual pre-budget meeting with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
In its presentation to the Minister of Finance, the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) called for a reduction in levies and taxes on the telecom sector amid the rollout of new 5G networks and services across the country. “…our demand for cost reduction needs to be addressed quickly,” COAI Managing Director SP Kochhar said after the infrastructure industry experts met online with the finance minister. The telecommunications industry has also argued for streamlining the GST, reducing license fees from 3% to 1%, and lowering tariffs on equipment.
COAI counts telecommunications operators such as Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea among its members.
According to sources, auto industry representatives have sought government support in terms of long-term policies to make India a strong electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing base.
They also advocated for government support to electric vehicle companies for workforce reskilling.
The Federation of Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME) was of the view that the Bank Loan Rating (BLR) requirement is proving to be a major impediment to the growth of MSMEs and called for immediate intervention in setting establishment of a joint committee of RBI, banks and stakeholders to develop a single rating model for MSMEs, which focuses solely on creditworthiness.
Observing that some private sector banks levy prepayment penalties (four percent) on MSMEs who try to switch banks if they are unhappy with poor services, FISME advocated for the formation of a task force responsible for studying the extent of the spread of malicious intent and suggesting corrective measures within a specified time.
Industry body PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) has suggested that infrastructure investment in the country should not be less than 10% of GDP to achieve state-of-the-art infrastructure and become a developed economy by 2047.
CII has proposed the establishment of separate SPVs in the infrastructure sector for the purpose of executing individual infrastructure projects due to the mandate of the tender conditions issued by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Sitharaman kicked off the pre-budget consultations by holding meetings with heads of chambers of industry and infrastructure experts on their expectations for the next budget.
The meetings were held virtually and Union Ministers of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary, Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad and other senior officials also attended the meeting.
”Union Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman is chairing his 1st #PreBudget2023 consultation with the first group of industry captains and #Infrastructure and #ClimateChange experts, in New Delhi today,’ the Ministry of Finance said in a tweet.
“The 2nd #PreBudget2023 meeting is attended by MoS Finance Shri @mppchaudhary and Dr @DrBhagwatKarad; the Finance Secretary, Dr. TV Somanathan; Secretaries of DEA, @SecyDIPAM, DoR, @DFS_India, CEA Dr Anantha Nageswaran and Senior Economic Advisor @FinMinIndia,’ he added.
The participants made suggestions on the 2023-24 budget, which will be presented to Parliament by the Minister of Finance on February 1.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)