Consultations for budget 2021 have begun. Today finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman held her first pre-budget meeting with top industrialists to get their inputs.
India Inc has called for aggressive divestment including stake sales in public sector banks barring three to four big banks. They have also sought an extension to the direct tax amnesty scheme "Vivad se Vishwas" till December next year.
The CII in fact has forwarded a three-pronged strategy for the Union Budget. The key themes centred around growth, fiscal consolidation, and strengthening of the financial sector to overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
FICCI has also presented its recommendations including reviving the demand for a convergence of GST rates into three slabs.
To discuss what the industry expects from the finance minister this time around, CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan spoke to Uday Shankar, President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry.
On disinvestment, Uday Shankar said, “From FICCI we have said that government should be looking at it very actively, in the short-term perhaps the government could also consider steps like pledging the PSU undertaking shares with the RBI and get money at a very low rate of interest. We hope that the government will get more ambitious and it would go beyond selling the share of PSU undertakings to other PSUs and they would be more active disinvestment to the market.”
On corporates entering banks, Shankar said, “I agree with you that the jury is divided on whether corporate should be allowed into banking or not, but our view is that it is something that we should do. We also believe that given the right framework of regulation and oversight this is a welcome move.”
On GST rate structure, he said, “Our view is that the GST infrastructure and people’s familiarity with GST has matured enough for us to go to a simpler and more homogenous kind of a structure. From 7 percent in goods and 5 percent rates in services, I think what we need to is at least across the world just three rates and time for this has come and it would be a huge sort of catalyst to the industry at a time when we are all trying to come out of a very difficult time.”
Watch the full interview for more.