Union Budget brings in long term certainty in business environment

Mar 01, 2016 20:04 | Chandigarh

CII – KPMG organizes in-depth Analysis Session on Union Budget 2016-17 for the benefit of Industry


Union Budget brings in long term certainty in business environment : Karan Avtar Singh


Subsuming of certain cess is a step towards the GST : Principal Commissioner, Central Excise & Service Tax


Focus on job creation, ease of doing business, governance, agriculture and social sector: CII


The Union Budget 2016-17 has brought in a sense of long term certainty in the business environment by presenting a roadmap for bringing down the corporate tax rate up 25 per cent said Dr Karan Avtar Singh, Addl. Chief Secretary, Investments Promotion, Government of Punjab at the Session on ‘Union Budget: Insights & Analysis: 2016-17’ organised by CII Northern Region in association with KPMG at Chandigarh today. The focus of the session was to provide an in-depth analysis of the recently announced Union Budget vis-a-vis the policy initiatives, taxation aspects and the industry perspective on the budget.


Dr Singh said that Union Budget 2016-17 has proposed slightly higher rate of custom duties in the ESDM sector, which will promote local manufacturing of these goods to realise the vision of ‘Make in India’. Further, the emphasis on the infrastructure sector in the Union Budget will promote the development of highways in the states. Mr Singh informed that Punjab is gearing up in a big way in terms of road connectivity.


A rise in the devolution of states’ share in the taxes is another positive. The enhanced focus of the Budget on rural development will turn out to be a boon for a number of states, including Punjab, Dr Singh expressed. The Government of India is negotiating with World Bank and Asian Development Bank for large tranches in the context of Smart Cities initiative and this should be finalised within the next financial year, he remarked.


Addressing the participants, Mr S L Thakur, Principal Commissioner, Central Excise & Service Tax Commisisonerate Chandigarh- I, Government of India highlighted the positive things that his Department has undertaken, one of which is the mechanism of 24 * 7 online customs clearance. Some other encouraging measures include the exchange of trade through e-mode as well as applicability of e-signatures. Setting up of Customs Clearance Facilitation Committee (CCFN) will aid in faster clearance through every major sea port and airport, said Mr Thakur.  He was happy that time limit for filing application for refund of Cenvat Credit, in case of export of services has been increased to 1 year from 6 months.


Subsuming of certain cess is a step towards the GST, said Mr Thakur.


Highlighting the key features of the Budget, Mr Ravi Sarangal, CIT (Audit), North West Region- Chandigarh, Government of India opined that announcements such as grant stay of demand once the assesse pays 15 per cent of the disputed demand where the income is below 10 lakhs, while the appeal is pending before Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals), is a welcome step and will promote an environment of certainty which would lead to ease of doing business.


Highlighting the steps that the Income Tax Department has taken to create a user friendly environment, he informed all that Aayakar Seva Kendra have been established across the country to encourage online filling of the returns and use of IT has been leveraged in order streamline processes of refund, payment etc. The focus of the department is to minimise face to face interface with the IT officials in order to reduce biasness at the time of finalising the judgment.


Earlier, while setting the context, Mr Gurmeet Singh Bhatia, Vice Chairman, CII Punjab State Council & Chairman & Managing Director, Ajooni Biotech Pvt Ltd stated that the Finance Minister presented a well-rounded package of reforms and growth-oriented measures in the Union Budget 2016-17. The Budget proposals addressed issues in nine critical areas ranging from agriculture and the rural sector to financial sector and banking, he added. Given the current global context of slowing growth and threat of financial turbulence, the Budget needs to be commended for giving a boost to growth and investment without disturbing the path for fiscal consolidation, he added.

Elaborating on the indirect taxation, Mr Harpreet Singh, Indirect Tax Specialist said the tax proposals are largely directed towards promotion of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Ease of Doing Business’ initiatives. As a welcome change, steps have been taken to create trust based and taxpayer friendly environment. In order to promote ease of doing business tax provisions have been relaxed, compliances have been reduced and credit has been rationalised. To promote ease of doing business, tax provisions have been relaxed, compliance has been reduced and credit provisions have been rationalised.


Sharing his perspective on the Union Budget, Mr Naveen Gupta, Direct Tax Specialist said the steps towards phasing out of incentives in order to bring the country at par with China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore where the tax rate is around 25 per cent while India’s effective tax rate stands at 23 per cent is a step in right direction. The provisions enabling e-assessment are a big change in the Budget since this will give a boost to Ease of Doing Business and the Digital India initiative. That the direction of the Dispute Resolution Panel will be considered as final is a good move.