NEW DELHI: The Budget should focus on measures to accelerate job creation and broaden the tax base by rationalising GST and personal income tax slabs to boost consumption, industry bodies said in their pre-Budget meeting with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday.
"The external scenario is likely to continue to be unfavourable for some time. Hence, we must broad-base our domestic economy by creating new sectors of growth and driving employment generation to boost domestic demand, inclusion, and growth," CII president Sanjiv Bajaj said.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), which was part of the virtual pre-Budget meeting, called for an aggressive focus on the privatisation of public sector units and increasing allocation to capital expenditure with a focus on an investment-led growth strategy to pump India's economy amidst the global uncertainty.
To boost job creation, CII suggested that an employment-linked incentive scheme be introduced and the government could consider an urban employment guarantee scheme and initiate a pilot in metro cities first in this Budget.
"Going forward, to provide tax certainty to businesses, the corporate tax rates should be maintained at the current levels. Further simplification, rationalisation, ease of paying taxes, and reducing tax litigation should be key priorities," the CII president said.
Industry body PHDCCI also submitted its suggestions for the Budget to the finance minister virtually on Monday.
It suggested a five-pronged strategy to revitalise private investments through measures to enhance consumption, increase capacity utilisation in factories, boost job creation, improve the quality of social infrastructure, and accelerate India's economic growth.
"The Union Budget 2023-24 is being presented at a crucial juncture of geo-political uncertainties, high inflation and slowing world economic growth. At this juncture, calibrated steps to enhance domestic sources of growth would be crucial to maintain the steady economic growth trajectory," said Saket Dalmia, president, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI), in a statement.
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