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FICCI seeks direct tax rate cuts
May, 14th 2009

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has sought reduction in corporate tax rate to 25 per cent and reintroduction of investment allowance, besides continuation of tax holiday benefits for housing, telecom and power sectors.

In their interaction with the Revenue Secretary, Mr P.V. Bhide, and other senior officials of the Finance Ministry here today, a high-powered FICCI team led by its President, Mr Harsh Pati Singhania, also called for reduction in personal income tax rate to 25 per cent to encourage consumption spending in the country.

The chamber has also in its pre-budget submissions with the Finance Ministry suggested that the maximum rate of tax should be applicable to incomes over Rs 10 lakh. Also, FICCI has suggested that the tax holiday benefit period for IT and software sector needs to be extended beyond 2010 and Section 80HHC (exemption of export profits) temporarily revived.

On the indirect tax side, Mr Singhania suggested that excise duty rate of 8 per cent and service tax at 10 per cent be continued at least till the next fiscal. Also, the peak customs duty rate of 10 per cent be retained for some more time.

The chamber has also suggested reduction in customs duty on natural rubber from the current level of 20 per cent to preferably 7.5 per cent.

Besides seeking service tax exemption on E&P sector, the chamber has suggested declared goods status for natural gas.

FICCI has also pitched for reduction in central sales tax (CST) rate from 2 per cent to one per cent and early introduction of goods and service tax (GST) regime.

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