As the Election Commission formally announced the dates for Lok Sabha polls on Sunday, the India Inc has released its own election manifesto to provide an economic roadmap for the political parties.
Industry body Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) on Sunday released a ‘Suggested Election Manifesto’ for political parties, covering a range of subjects including agriculture, education, health, infrastructure, manufacturing, technology and environment to achieve an average growth rate of 8 per cent per annum in the next five years.
“After extensive discussion with industry members and experts from various fields, we have evolved key suggestions to make an India of economic strength, technological vitality and moral leadership towards India@75 in 2022. We believe that political parties will consider these suggestions and include them in their manifesto,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General at the CII.
The CII said it has shared the manifesto with all the major political parties, national and regional, for their consideration and inclusion in their party manifesto.The manifesto envisages a continued high pace of reforms, enabling India to take a lead in a world of multiple transformations in the global and technology environment, Banerjee said.
The industry body has called for compressing Goods and Services Tax rate slabs to 2 or 3 per cent and lowering corporate income tax to 18 per cent with no exemptions to make Indian tax rates globally competitive.
“The CII advocates that for strategic PSEs, government stake should be lowered progressively in phase 1 to 51 per cent, in phase 2 to 26 per cent and in phase 3 to Nil. For other PSEs, the government should exit from business within five years,” the manifesto said.
Among others, it has suggested raising public expenditure on education to 6 per cent of the GDP, making vocational training part of curriculum and incentivising better performance of teachers with upgraded digital school infrastructure, especially, in rural schools.
“The CII-suggested manifesto highlights administrative, judicial and police reforms. We also recommend the highest priority on education, health care and infrastructure, among other sectors,” Banerjee added. On electoral reforms, the CII suggests devising a model for simultaneous elections of Parliament and state legislatures from 2024.
Compressing of GST rate slabs to 2 or 3 per cent
Lowering of corporate income tax to 18 per cent
Government stake should be lowered progressively in Phase 1 to 51 per cent; in Phase 2 to 26 per cent and in Phase 3 to nil.
For other Public Sector Enterprises, the government should exit from business within five years
Raising public expenditure on education to 6 per cent of the GDP
Raising of public spending on health 3 per cent of GDP
Funding for Research and Development must be raised to 1 per cent of GDP