Indian businessmen put forth expectations for 2019 interim budget

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-29 21:16:10|Editor: xuxin
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NEW DELHI, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Indian businessmen have put forth their demands and expectations for the forthcoming Interim Budget to be presented by the country's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Feb. 1.

This year an Interim Budget would be presented as parliamentary elections are slated to be held sometime between April and May. The final Budget would be presented by the new government after the polls.

President of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) Ganesh Kumar Gupta said he expected that the Budget would unveil certain benefits, particularly for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector, and for those specific product clusters and research and development, which would help in increasing exports and boosting manufacturing and job creation.

He also hoped that the Budget would provide measures for refund of taxes on petroleum and electricity to exporters who still continue to bear them. Promoting exports in the Budget and giving it a much needed support at a time when global economy was facing slowdown, would come as a morale booster for the sector, said Gupta.

He further stated that employment creation was the biggest challenge in the country and, therefore, the Budget 'should provide tax concession' to units which create jobs in the country. Every incremental creation of jobs should provide tax deduction equivalent to the employees cost to unit, he elaborated.

The FIEO president also emphasized that with a view to double farmers income, the Budget should allocate substantial fund for backward and forward linkages in agriculture, including in cold chains and warehouses, so that India could build on a stable agriculture policy announced earlier.

"We are looking towards 2 trillion U.S. dollars of exports and imports by 2025. This requires huge marketing support through a planned Export Development Fund with a corpus of at least 0.5 percent of the export value so that exporters can be supported in their aggressive marketing," said Gupta in a statement issued Tuesday.

Those into ship-building and boat manufacturing demanded of the government to reduce Goods and Services Tax (GST) and also offer subsidy to the sector. Founder & CEO of the "NavAlt Solar & Electric Boats" Sandith Thandasherry said that import duty should be exempted for marine grade batteries.

"Major cost of the solar boat is marine grade lithium batteries which are being imported. Until the technology is developed in India, the government should make a policy to provide an exemption of import duty of marine grade lithium batteries," he said in an official statement.

He also demanded that solar/electric boats be added in the "Faster Adoption and Manufacture of Electric Vehicles (FAME) policy. "Currently, electric vehicles on road are added in FAME policy. Solar boats, unlike the electric vehicles, derive more than 75 percent of its energy from the sun and the rest is taken from power grid, which makes it cleaner. So we request government to add solar boats to FAME," he added.

"We urge the Finance Ministry to introduce schemes and support programs for easy financing for the purchase of solar boats just like vehicles on road. Banks should treat solar boat financing on priority or even consider this at par with automotive financing," he said.