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K'taka trade bodies seek cut in VAT rates, stamp duty
June, 24th 2013

Chief minister Siddaramaiah held discussions with the chambers of commerce and trade bodies at the weekend as part of his pre-budget exercise to elicit views of the trade and industry.

The Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) has sought a reduction in stamp duty from 7 per cent to 4 per cent to encourage registrations of properties and ensure buoyancy in revenues.

The BCIC has also suggested bringing parity in the value added tax (VAT) rates with respect to all commodities so that industries in Karnataka are placed on a competitive platform compared to other states. This will also bring in more revenues to the state's exchequer which otherwise is moving to border states.

P V Srinivasan, chairman, Indirect and State Taxes Expert Committee and Senior Vice President-Corporate Taxation, Wipro Limited, said: "Reduction in stamp duty paid in respect of the immovable properties under the VAT principle in the real estate sector is a novel method and if implemented would be the first of its kind in the country."

He added: "There should be commonality in value added tax rates in respect to all commodities to help the state's trade and business to have a level playing field as far as competition is concerned. We also strongly demand the abolition of entry tax as it is complicated and highly litigated."

M Lakshminarayan, president, BCIC, said: "We urge the chief minister to implement the 12-point economic agenda that the chamber submitted to him to regain the lost glory of Karnataka as the most investor-friendly state."

The FKCCI suggested introducing Commercial Taxes Amnesty Scheme with a view to grant relief to pending cases and litigants under the KVAT Act, 2003, CST Act, 1956, KTPTC Act, 1976 and Entry Tax Act and reduce outstanding taxes, interests and penalties levyable because of amendment to Section 40A of the KVAT Act, 2003.

It has also asked to write-off irrecoverable small arrears of Commercial Taxes which are not under litigation.

FKCCI has also suggested for the withdrawal of 0.5 per cent hike in VAT rates effective from August 1, 2012, and restore the earlier levels immediately.

Among other suggestions, the chamber has called for creation of a New Bangalore on the outskirts of the city with all modern amenities to attract industries. It has also suggested for creation of an international airport hub at Bangalore for the flights from countries to the East of India to the countries in the west of India.

The reduction of entry tax on diesel and petrol from 5 per cent to 3 per cent, exemption of textile traders from entry tax, reduction in entry tax on machinery, spare parts, accessories and machine tools are some other important suggestions made by the FKCCI.

The Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (Kassia) has demanded for a 15 per cent price preference to small industries in all government corporations and public undertakings.

The procurement policy should be made applicable to all departments, autonomous bodies and local bodies upto panchayat level, Kassia said in its memorandum.

"Industrial township formation in important industrial estates and clusters may be expedited to create a better environment and ecosystem for industrialization," it said.

Among other demands, the Kassia has suggested for introduction of quarterly payment of VAT for small industries, reduction in property tax rate at Re 1 for BBMP areas, sales tax exemption on diesel used in captive power generators, abolition of entry tax for MSMEs and lo

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