Union Budget: A tale of missed opportunities, say tax and industry experts in Gujarat

Jul 11 2014, 22:56 IST
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(Suggestive Image) They were also critical of some of the 'draconaian laws' contained in direct and indirect taxes sections of the budget. Reuters (Suggestive Image) They were also critical of some of the 'draconaian laws' contained in direct and indirect taxes sections of the budget. Reuters
SummaryIt is been over 20 years since any single political party got a clear mandate.

Captains of the industry and taxation experts who had gathered in Gujarat on Friday to discuss the fine-print of Union budget, felt that it was a "missed opportunity" for the Modi-government in making an impression within the country and "putting the vision of India" across to the world. They were also critical of some of the "draconaian laws" contained in direct and indirect taxes sections of the budget.

"It is been over 20 years since any single political party got a clear mandate. There was a lot of expectations. But I believe it was a missed opportunity. We missed putting the vision of India out to the world, especially at a time when the entire world was watching us," said Richard Rekhy, Chief Executive Office (CEO) of KPMG while addressing an interactive session on "Budget & I" organised by KPMG and FICCI in the city here.

Rekhy who described finance minister Arun Jaitley speech as "too long", felt that there was "no co-relation" between the Socio-Economic Survey and the contents of the budget speech.

Appreciating the provisions made in the budget for smart cities, industrial corridors, transfer pricing, etc, the senior official from KMPG felt that government did not do away with the Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) that had crippled Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the country and had not fixed a timeline for the roll-out of Good and Services Tax (GST) which according to him could have given the GDP a boost by 1.5 to 2 percent.

"Though some provisions for solar energy has been made, there is not enough emphasis. Solar can do for power what mobiles did for telecom," Rekhy added.

Speakers who analysed the budget for a large number of businessmen, traders and entreprenuers who had gathered for the event felt that the Union Budget was completely silent on the issue of "black money", an issue that was used by the BJP to hit out at the Congress during elections. They also criticised the continuation of the "retroactive amendment"

Sujit Ghosh, Partner & National Head of Advaita Legal pointed out "draconian impact" some of the provisions of the indirect taxes mentioned in the budget held. Ghosh was particularly critical about the "variable rate of interest (ranging between 18-3- percent)" introduced to encourage prompt payment of service tax. Through the variable rates of interest the NDA government is not only asking the business establishements to pay taxes, but is also discouraging them from

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