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Singhbhum Chamber says Budget on expected lines

Jamshedpur, Feb. 29: The Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce has said that the Union Budget presented on Friday was mostly on the expected lines. “Post economic survey it was almost clear that major reliefs will not be possible to the tax payers,” a statement issued by the Chamber said.

The Chamber said, “Union finance minister Arun Jaitley did say in his Budget speech that there were two schools of thoughts advising him about keeping the fiscal deficit targets. Both were contradicting each other. However, the finance minister took a call on maintaining the targets.”

The statement quoted Jaitley as saying, “I am personally of the view that Fiscal Deficit should be what we have promised to the world. But, why tighten the revenue side only. Budget after Budget, and we see nothing on the need to reduce government’s expenditure.”

The Chamber ranked the Union Budget 6 on a 10 scale – saying that it was slightly tilted in favor of the government, since a lot has been promised for rural economy, digitalization, simplification, infrastructure, and something for the small and medium-scale entrepreneurs.”

The Chamber hailed the following salient features in the Union Budget for 2016-17:

• Huge thrust on infrastructure. Targets fixed for highways.

• Rural economy being in total doldrums required a budgetary push and huge infusion of funds into the same purpose. This should in turn push the entire economy.

• A long-standing demand by agriculture experts to fix minimum price of pulses and government buying the same has been met.

• To plug the leakage a major subsidy like fertilizer subsidy will be made on DBT basis. This will reduce the misuse and save our subsidy bill too.

• Dispute resolution on infrastructure projects is one area that has delayed many infra projects. Introduction of Public Utility Dispute Resolution Bill and removal of ambiguity on PPP and new guidelines for the same.

• VDIS of undisclosed property should bring in good amount of much needed cash.

• FDI in food processing Industry allowed. This will encourage the farmers and ensure better prices for their products.

• Much needed bank recapitalization fund announced. Not allow our banks slip to bankruptcy.

• Income Tax Scrutiny to be done on line with certain provisions.

On the other hand, it criticized the following proposals in the Budget:

• Nothing has been done to address the menacing recession. Almost all announcements on Taxes will be counter-productive to this cause.

• Additional Taxes imposed upon Vehicles ranging from 1 to 4%. In a subdued market, this will further depress the sales.

• There would be hardly any takers for the Settlement of Income Tax disputes pending in Appeal, as we have just witnessed the same in the One Time Settlement Scheme for VAT.

• Excise Duty levied on Jewelers, lots of heart burn to take place, as was seen 4 years back.

• Service Tax Exemptions on small houses is just eyewash, for instance, 322.8 sq. ft. in metros and 645.60 sq. ft. in non-metros.

• With almost all sectors covered to be taxed under service tax, government was left with one option to further increase the same. 0.5% Service Tax increased

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