Corporate tax exemptions to be rationalised: Jaitley


Proposals to be put out for discussions soon

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said here on Sunday that the Centre would soon take steps to rationalise exemptions to the current corporate tax regime.

Speaking at an Indian Chamber of Commerce event, he said that his Ministry would put up the proposal for discussion on phasing out of certain exemptions from the next financial year.

He said, “In my Budget speech (for the 2015-2016), I had laid out a roadmap for lowering corporate tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent in the next four years. I had also indicated reduction of exemptions. I stand by the announcement.”

Jaitley said the exemptions were discretionary, which led to corruption and litigation. High rates along with multifarious exemptions effectively lowered tax collection and served as disincentive for investments, he added.

GST stalemate

Regarding the “legislative stalemate” over Constitutional Amendment Bill for rolling out uniform goods and services tax throughout the country, he suggested that there should be a mechanism where indirectly elected Parliamentarians would ultimately yield to the “consensus” reached by directly elected representatives with “popular mandate”. “Even all the States had reached the consensus on the Bill,” he added.

In the UK, such a system was created to overcome the objections of the “nominated” Parliamentarians of the Upper House, he pointed out.

He hoped the Congress would revisit its position on GST.

The GST rollout could boost GDP growth by a few notches, the Finance Minister said.

He felt if legislative and infrastructural bottlenecks could be removed, India’s GDP growth rate could touch 8-10 per cent.

“I do believe it is (8 per cent and above growth) achievable… if we take right steps in right direction and hopefully we don’t have too many adverse global trend.

“It could be reasonably achievable. In order to achieve it is extremely important that we open ourselves for investments,” he said.

(This article was published on August 23, 2015)

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