Union Budget 2018: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is all set to present the Union Budget 2018-19 on February 1 and expectations are very high from the Modi government’s fifth fiscal Budget before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In order to boost innovation to deliver corporate initiatives, many companies will set their eyes to see what the Modi government offers for larger societal value creation. In respect to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India: Zero Defect and Zero Effect’, there is a strong need to encourage and incentivise the immense transformational capacity of corporates in innovating business models that can collectively deliver economic and social value simultaneously, according to the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Chamber in its Pre-budget memorandum 2018-19 claimed that sustainability in Business Development is only possible when economic growth facilitates social equity. Growth must lead to fabrication of sustainable livelihoods and replenishment of scarce environmental resources.
Watch video: FM Arun Jaitley May Tweak Income Tax Basic Exemption Limit
The Chamber believes that due to vulnerabilities emerging from social inequities, environmental degradation and climate change, the future growth could be restricted and the government should take necessary steps for the betterment of society in Union Budget 2018.
As per the Chamber, in Union Budget 2018, Modi government can assist the development of a Responsible business “Trustmark” Rating System. The system could be utilized to convey the company’s environmental and social performance to the consumer. Credits could be awarded to an enterprise by means of “Trustmark” Rating system, based on an objective evaluation on its triple bottom line performance. A stockpile of such credits could earn the enterprise Trustmark Ratings on a progressive scale and these ratings could be exhibited on products and services of the company to help consumers choose wisely.
To companies that display leadership in sustainability performance, Modi government must contemplate the provision of a differentiated and preferential set of incentives, fiscal or financial, the Chamber suggested for the Union Budget 2018. Corporates with high Trustmark ratings should be awarded with incentives like priority fast track clearances, purchase preferances, lower tariff of central excise duty for manufacture of “green”, eco-friendly items, weighted deduction for the expenditure under the Income Tax Law and so on. This would stimulate powerful market drivers that would incentivise innovation for larger triple bottom line impact.
Watch video: Budget 2018 To Focus On Infrastructure, Look At Private Capital To Fund Affordable Housing
In order to provide more benefits to responsible companies, the Chamber for Union Budget 2018, also suggested that banks and financial institutions could establish the Trustmark rating system in their leading operations. In addition to that, trading in Trustmark ratings would be possible if a system similar to carbon credits or energy efficiency certificates can be made available. This will help the organizations with abundant credits to monetise their efforts.