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ICC urges Centre to target double digit GDP growth in Budget 2007

Written by: Staff

Kolkata, Dec 4 (UNI) Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has urged the Union Finance Ministry to target double digit GDP growth in the coming Budget and focus on development of agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors.

Speaking at a pre-budget session organised by the Chamber here today, ICC Vice-Chairman Harsh K Jha said, ''We have mentioned in our recommendations to the Finance Ministry that the Centre should focus on post-harvest utilisation, agro-processing and corporate farming, development of cold chains, agressive implementation of AEZs and organic farming in order to develop agrcultural growth.

''In a meeting with Union Finance Minister P Chidmbaram, the chamber has asked the Centre to create world-class infrastructure, including industrial parks, SEZs and other infrastructure through Public-Private Partnerships(PPPs),'' he said.

The ICC has made detailed study on potential areas of growth in Indian economy. The study also highlights that India could sustain a growth of 10-12 per cent and 3-5 per cent in agriculture and 12-15 per cent in the services.

''Tourism, Education, Healthcare and R&D are the other major areas which the Union Government should focus on. Fiscal incentives for developing hotels, tourist resorts, reducing taxes and developing transportation would boost this sector,'' Mr Jha said.

Talking about ICC recomendations about direct taxes, ICC Expert Committee on Taxation, Chairman D B Desai said, ''The rate of direct taxes in India is 30 per cent. However, the actual burden on the assessees is much higher because of 10 per cent surcharge and two per cent education cess. So we recommended that the overall tax liability should be limited within 30 per cent and it should be abolished at least for the domestic entities.'' The chamber has also urged the Centre that Fringe Benefit Taxes should not exclude travelling and conveyance, sales promotion, telephone etc.


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