Pune, Oct 17: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today reiterated the government's commitment to bring in a "reasonable and globally-competitive tax regime" through reduction in corporate tax rate to 25 per cent over the next four years.
Emphasising that direct taxation in the country has to be "reasonable and globally competitive", he said he will try to bring down corporate tax to 25 per cent from the prevailing 34 per cent in a staggered manner.
Addressing a meeting of businessmen from the city organised by the BJP city unit here this evening, Jaitley said: "In direct taxes, we have to be globally competitive. I will try to bring down corporate tax to 25 per cent in next 3-4 years, and the process of reduction will start next year."
Taking a dig at the previous UPA administration for bringing in the retro tax, Jaitley said this had resulted in many disputes which gave the country "a bad name" among global investors who chose to leave the country.
Blaming the UPA for the project delays and the resultant low private investments in the past which is still hurting the investment scenario now, he said his government has been faster with green clearances.
Calling on the states to be competitive to invite investors, the minister said today's investors are "very choosy", which also calls for making our taxation regime investor friendly. Noting that the public spending has been on the rise this fiscal, Jaitley called on the private sector to join the government in increasing investment.
On the back of the surging indirect revenue collection, which rose 35.8 per cent in the first six months of the fiscal to Rs 3.24 trillion, he expressed hope that this year, he may not be forced to cut back on planned expenditure to meet the budgeted fiscal deficit target of 3.9 per cent. Last year, the government was forced to cut up to 15 per cent in planned expenditure.
Stating that GST has the potential to boost the GDP, Jaitley criticised the Opposition in general and the Congress in particular for stalling the passage of the new-age taxation Bill "without understanding its benefit and despite the Bill being their (Congress) own proposal".