Budget talk: Kiran Mazumdar Shaw wants investment climate

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw P Chidambaram
Bangalore, Feb 21: Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, a pioneer in bio-pharma industry, has a wishlist for Finance Minister P Chidambaram. The finance minister is presenting the general budget on Feb 28 and Mazumdar Shaw clearly wants him to see the big picture of investment.

In her pre-budget comments, she insists on investment in power and infrastructure sector. As a foremost industrialist, she knows that power and infrastructure sectors are growth drivers and need proper attention. As an industrialist she is also hoping for reforms in labour sector.

In pursuit of transparency in the way we are governed, Mazumdar Shaw is seeking e-governance and investment to promote e-governance. In an interview to India Knowledge@Wharton, she had said "our governance standards have to change. That's the hot debate everywhere. What are we victims of today? It is bureaucratic unaccountability. I know how ridiculous bureaucracy can be and how much of a deterrent it can be to growth and progress."

Her wishlist for the finance minister includes 'creation of investment climate'. Mazumdar Shaw also wants implementation of GST.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a national-level tax on manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services. It is being looked as one of the biggest taxation reforms after independence. The GST has been in the pipeline since 2005.

Mazumdar Shaw, who is very active in social sector is asking for tax exemptions for essential and life saving drugs. Taking the health agenda further she wants investment in in e-healthcare and tax holiday for hospitals.

The finance minister may not heed this in an election driven budget but Mazumdar Shaw wants Chidambram to withdraw subsidies. The subsidies given under various schemes form a major part of spending by the government and to get this it has to impose taxes or sell assets like stake in public sector undertakings.

The Bangalore based industrialist, who is very articulate on various issues has few words of advice for Railway Minister Pawan Bansal. She wants Bansal to raise fares but is keen to keep the lower class out of the hike. She is also asking for reforms in railway freight rates. Bansal will present his maiden railway budget on Feb 26.

Mazumdar Shaw, who manages her company in a risk-averse investment environment, has spoken on budget and what needs to be done. Now, it is the turn of the pragmatic finance minister to act and show purpose of budgeting.

OneIndia News

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