Change in tax structure soon: Chidambaram

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P Chidambaram - Union Home Minister
New Delhi, Feb 6: Union Home Minister and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Thursday, Feb 5 that the interim budget which will be announced later this month might include some changes in the tax structure and further stimulus measures to boost the economic growth.

When asked if any change in tax rate Chidambaram said, "Wait until Feb 16. I suppose everything is possible." He said to media persons that the acting Prime Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, who is also in charge of Finance Ministry will present the interim budget, also known as 'a vote on account' on Feb 16.

The general election of India is scheduled in May and the full annual budget for the fiscal year 2009-10 will be presented by the new government once it is formed. To fight recession and protect economy, Indian government has cut key lending rates, slashed factory gate duties. It has also promised to spend more on infrastructure and exporting sectors to protect growth in Asia's third-largest economy.

Manufactures have cut prices of their products after factory gate duty rates were reduced by 4pc points in Dec. However the industry and exporters are lobbying for more tax cuts to protect profit margins and survive in slowdown. Experts are of the opinion that the government could announce more fiscal measures in the coming interim budget or after that, to protect and revive industrial output before heading for elections.

The Reserve Bank of India's recent forcast shows a fiscal deficit of close to six per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the end of March.

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OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)

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