New Delhi, Jan 8: Indian industrialists met Finance Minister P. Chidambaram at a pre-budget meeting on Tuesday to discuss issues like agri-reforms, infrastructure, savings and investment and widening of the tax base.
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) members spelt out a four-point action agenda to achieve the 11th plan growth target of nine percent over the next five years to the Finance Minister. After the meeting, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) President and Videocon Group Chairman V. N. Dhoot said Chidambaram reposed confidence in the economy and its growth.
"He was very sure that the growth would be more than ten percent next year. Today it will cross three percent when global economies are falling. See, the US economy is falling but the Indian economy and the Indian stock exchange are going up and in that connection he has asked industrialists what should be done. So, as the president of ASSOCHAM he should now reduce taxes on low income people," said Dhoot.
The agenda presented by the association stressed on tax exemptions for daily household consumption items. It also talked about extending tax benefits to the IT sector, which has been hard hit owing to rupee appreciation and taxation of Employee Stock Options (ESOPs) beyond 2009.
The agenda also mentioned bringing agricultural income as well as services under the tax purview. Other industrialists said that they had urged the finance minister to consider lowering the corporate tax rates.
The outcome of the meeting was that there was consensus among industrialists that the growth momentum of close to 9% can be sustained and accelerated as well as given potential for continued improvement in productivity, infrastructure facilities, market structures and linkages and the continuation of positive initiatives in the regulatory and policy framework.