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TNCCI team meets finance minister, seeks tax exemptions
February, 04th 2012

A delegation from the Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday met Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi and submitted a pre-budget memorandum for the Central Budget 2012-2013 demanding that the Union government exempt semi-mechanised units in the safety matchstick industry from excise duty.

The delegation consisted of TN president N Jegatheesan, senior president S Rethinavelu, secretary J Rajamohan, treasurer D S Jeeier Babu, and former member of parliament AGS Ram Babu.

They said, "In the safety matchstick industry, fully mechanized units and semi mechanized units were treated equally for levy of Central Excise. Hence, semi mechanized units which provide substantial employment in rural areas are unable to withstand the acute competition and are slowly becoming sick. They should therefore be provided with complete exemption from excise duty or with concessional rate of duty when compared to fully mechanized units."

Underlining that the SSI sector should be rejuvenated by enhancing central excise exemption limits, they said considering the present inflation and increased cost of inputs, the annual turn over exemption limit for central excise levy for SSI sector should be increased from Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 3 crore, and the value of clearance in the previous year to avail SSI benefit in the following year should be enhanced from Rs 4 crore to Rs 8 crore in order to rejuvenate the sector.

The delegation strongly objected to the levy of service tax on goods transport agencies on trade and industry who are only the recipients of such services instead of lorry transporters who actually provide such service. Further the service tax exemption limit of Rs 10 lakh allowed for all services is not made applicable for goods transport agency service. In all fairness, such benefit of exemption limit should be made applicable to trade and industry players also who are liable to pay service tax on goods transport agency.

Advocating an enhancement in income tax rate slab, they said individual income tax threshold should be increased to Rs 2.5 lakh for men, Rs 3 lakh for women and Rs 4 lakh for senior citizens. The rate slabs should be finalized as 10 percent for income over and above the threshold up to Rs 5 lakh, 20 percent between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh and 25 percent above Rs 10 lakh.

They further said the annual turnover limit for mandatory tax audit for non-corporate entities under section 44 AB of the Income Tax Act should be increased from the present Rs 60 lakh to Rs 2 crore.

Stating that the new unified Goods and Service Tax which subsumes indirect taxes like Central Excise, Service Tax and State levied Value Added Tax, is highly beneficial to trade and industry, they sought that the integrated Direct Tax Code be implemented as early as possible.

They also put another demand in the memorandum that the Chamber of Commerce, registered as a non-profit organization, should not be Service taxed on subscriptions collected by them and income tax on the surplus amount accrued in their trade promotion activities.

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