New Delhi, July 16 : Addressing CII’s National Council here, the Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das said that the Budget had taken a lot of measures to revive economic growth, despite the fiscal space being extremely limited. The message to the taxpayer is that the tax department will play the role of facilitator. Efforts towards greater clarity in taxation and reduction in litigation include the facility for advance ruling for resident tax payers.
Commenting on whether the revenue targets are realistic, the Secretary mentioned that the growth assumed in direct taxes is the same as the growth achieved in the previous year. As for indirect taxes, the government is depending on some recovery in economic activity and especially in the manufacturing sector for some buoyancy in revenue.
He pointed out that the reduction in excise duty is already having a positive impact on the automobile sector. The Secretary also highlighted the effort towards greater policy stability attempted in the Budget. Decisions such as the 10 year tax holiday given to the power sector and the reduction in the limit for investment allowance have been granted till 2017. The measures on dividend repatriation from abroad do not have any sunset clause.
On GST, the Secretary said he was hopeful of a broad consensus emerging by the end of the current financial year. Welcoming the Secretary, the CII President Ajay Shriram said, that CII is happy to see a number of its recommendations accepted in the Budget. He commented that an economic recovery is currently under way.
Queries were raised from members of the National Council on issues ranging from debt mutual funds to problems being faced by the pharmaceutical sector. Responding to these queries, the Secretary said that Budget making is a continuous process and that the Ministry will welcome further recommendations.