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Union budget failed to address FBT, GST concerns

Written by: Staff

Chennai, Feb 28: Industry is disappointed that Union Budget 2006-07 presented by Finance Minister P Chidambaram today (Feb 28, 2006) failed to address concerns on Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) and Goods and Services Tax (GST).

At a CII-organised budget meet here, CII Southern Region Chairman R ParasuRaman said it was 'excellent management of the whole budgeting process, But where is the revenue going to come from for funding the various programmes?' He said two 'clear' disappointments from the industry point of view were the 'mild touch' on the FBT issue and the absence of a roadmap for moving towards a GST, which, according to Mr Chidambaram, was slated to come into effect from April one, 2010.

FBT rules had been watered down but had become more complicated he said, expressing disappointment.

Concerned about the lack of private sector participation in the delivery mechanism of programmes spelt out in the Budget, he was sceptical about the implementation of the eight flagship programmes of the government, for which Rs 50,000 crore had been allocated, as the delivery mechanism channel was known for being laggard.

Welcoming the relaxations for the small passenger car segment, Mr ParasuRaman said not much had been done for the power sector as there was no policy on the transmission and distribution front.

He said, "whether the budget actually delivers has to be seen...number of enablers are not known.. generally from the industry perspective nothing to worry". While tax was not touched, there were no policy incentives aimed at accelerating the reform process that the world was looking at.


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