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India Inc's expectations from 2014/15 budget
July, 10th 2014

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the budget for the 2014/15 fiscal year on Thursday, after his Bharatiya Janata Party won a landslide victory in May to form the first majority government in three decades.

The budget is expected to unveil bold reforms in a bid to turn around an economy growing at decade-lows, but there won't be major changes to taxes, according to a Reuters survey.

NEW REFORMS EXPECTED, MAJOR INITIATIVES:

-- Announcement of plans to cash in on India's soaring stock market by selling stakes in major companies to raise funds and bridge the gap between revenues and expenditure.

-- Cutting giveaways on fuel and petroleum products to reduce India's $40 billion subsidy bill, which is a key reason for the country's wide fiscal deficit.

Here are measures that analysts and investors expect for key industrial sectors:

Autos:

* Rollout of a goods and service tax (GST) to help streamline and standardise the cost of selling cars

* Incentives for exports of vehicles, for free movement of vehicles between states and for getting dated cars off the road

* Support to promote and manufacture electric and hybrid vehicles

Financial Services:

* Having a roadmap to creation of a holding company for state-run banks

* Increase of ceiling on foreign direct investment (FDI) in insurance sector to 49 percent from 26 percent

* Tax exemption on long-term infrastructure bonds

* Increase in housing loan interest limit beyond 150,000 rupees for tax exemption

* Higher allocation for capital infusion in state-owned banks

* Tax incentives to encourage expansion of affordable housing

Healthcare:

* Tax incentives to spur investment in research and development

* Simpler tax norms, including rapid implementation of GST

* Increase tax exemption for setting up hospitals

* Infrastructure status along with tax benefits

* Revive clinical trials in India

* Double healthcare expenditure to 8 percent in next 5 years

Infrastructure:

* Accelerate dedicated plans for dedicated freight corridors

* Open more projects, particularly parts of the railway network, to foreign direct investment

* Set up a national fund for infrastructure projects, which could source funds from China or Japan

* Roadmap for attracting long-term debt for infrastructure projects

Metals and Mining:

* Address issues around mining regulations and adopt reforms for raw material security

* Reforms to reduce logistical bottlenecks in transport of metals and raw materials to and from mines

* Introduction of competitive auctions for allocation of minerals and raw materials

* Continuation of tax benefits on capital expenditure

Oil and gas:

* Reduction of subsidy bill through fuel price reforms

* Reintroduce import duty on crude oil

* Continuation of diesel price hikes and deregulation of diesel price

Power:

* Fast tracking of stalled projects, easier access to power plants and coal mines

* Deregulation of electricity prices

* Tax concessions and incentives to promote investment into renewable energy

Real estate:

* Streamlining of tax laws to enable listing of real estate investment trusts (REITs)

* Establishing a single window clearance for speedy project approvals

* Grant industry status to the sector, which would lower the risk weightage assigned to it by banks

* Increase in tax deduction benefit limit on home loan interest, which is currently capped at 150,000 rupees annually

Retail and consumer goods:

* Implementation of GST and tax reforms that will lead to an increase in personal disposable incomes

* Announcement of easing of rules on FDI in online retailing

* Increase in tax on cigarettes

 
 
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