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Tax concession sought for social sector in upcoming Budget
January, 05th 2013

Social sector representatives today pitched for tax exemptions and greater involvement of NGOs in implementation of welfare programmes of the government.

Also read: Lokpal to come up in Budget Session of Parl: Narayanasamy

These demands were raised by them during the customary pre-budget meeting with Finance Minister P Chidambaram here. The Union Budget is likely to be presented on February 28. The representatives also suggested that government engages highly qualified professionals at grass root level, exempt donation to non-profitable organisation and recognising profit making NGOs for bank loans and financing.

They also suggested linking of inland water ways programme with MNREGA, higher allocation for rehabilitation of disabled people and early disbursement of grants to NGOs. In his introductory remarks, Chidambaram said that higher growth would increase the capacity of the government to undertake social-welfare programmes for different sections of the society.

He said the country has been able to come out of the difficult economic phase in 2012 and efforts will be made to restore the economy on high growth path. Worsening global economy, the Minister said has impacted exports and inflation making it difficult for the government to restore fiscal health of the country.

Chidambaram expressed the hope that some good results would be seen in the economy by the end of current fiscal. The social sector groups also demanded that charitable institutions should be exempted from service tax, more funds for alleviating urban poverty, formulation and adoption of
National Competition Policy.

They also pitched for higher investment in education, gender equality and for providing water and sanitation facilities. Social sector representatives who were present at the meeting included D R Mehta of Jaipur Foot, Namrata Bali (SEWA Academy), Rukmani Banerjeee (Pratham) and Samit Aich (Greenpeace).

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