New Delhi [India], November 24 : Enhancing consumption by incentivising the consumer with wider tax rebate benefits, steps to reduce cost of doing business especially for MSMEs and removing tax on bio-fuels are among suggestions made by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is holding pre-budget consultations.
Saket Dalmia, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said in a virtual interaction with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday that there should be efforts to encourage the consumer to spend more on long-term consumer durables or real assets such as a shop or a second house.
Dalmia suggested more focus on decriminalisation and reduction in cost of doing business. For financial mistakes, there should be financial redress such as penalties and not imprisonment, according to a statement from the industry body.
“We suggest decriminalisation of offences in GST (goods and services tax) law by increasing threshold from Rs 5 crore to Rs 20 crore. These steps would go a long way in encouraging businessmen to expand their companies without fear of prosecution,” Dalmia said.
He suggested there must be focus on substantial reduction in the cost of doing business, especially at the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) level. This would include a reduction in cost of capital, power, logistics, and of land and labour.
Costs of doing business should not be more than those in the top three manufacturing countries namely China, the US and Japan, Dalmia said.
“There is a need for calibrated and substantial expenditure by the government to bolster demand and Ease of Doing Business through incentives on innovation and adoption of technology, especially for women start-ups and for R-D activity,” he said.
“We suggest that there must be priority lending for MSMEs, separate production-linked incentive (PLI) for MSMEs, reduction of imports from China of finished products to create a level-playing field for the industry,” he said.
There must be focus on developing the tourism industry for large-scale employment, especially in the backdrop of India’s G20 Presidency, said Dalmia.
The Chamber suggested there must be focus on making tourism more inclusive and varied through concept-driven tourism which involves utilising India’s cultural and natural heritage, such as spiritual tourism.
It suggested creating a pilgrimage circuit of the 12 jyotirlingas or island tourism – developing the more than 200 tropical islands that are a part of our country.
He mentioned that most international tourist destinations do not attract GST and value added tax (VAT). “We suggest removal of 18 per cent GST from tourism facilities and infrastructure.”
Industry body recommended making a special committee to discuss innovative, targeted ways of financing and adoption of green energy to offset the long incubation period required in this sector. Taxes on bio fuels should be brought to nil, it suggested, adding this was an important step for rapid increase in production of biofuels and was also needed for energy security.
The industry body also suggested import duty on electrolysers should be brought to nil.
It suggested this single step would attract huge investment in Green Hydrogen, make India an export hub by 2030 and there would be no revenue loss incurred in doing this, as Green Hydrogen is not being produced in the country till date.
All lending decisions and investments by banks and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) as well as all government subsidies and grants should be linked with environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) scores, said PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.