Budget 2024 expectations: India Inc wants tax burden reduced, farm bodies call for higher investment in R&D

The full budget 2024-25 is expected to be presented by Nirmala Sitharaman next month


As the pre-budget consultation meetings with various stakeholders, including economists, India Inc. and farmer bodies get underway, several demands from various quarters have been raised.

The full budget 2024-25, which will lay out Modi 3.0 government's economic agenda, is expected to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament next month.

Confederation of Indian Industry

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has called for 'marginal tax relief' for people having an annual income of up to Rs 20 lakh.

During its pre-budget representation to Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra, the president of the body Sanjiv Puri recommended reducing excise duty on petrol and diesel, rationalising capital gains taxes and maintaining corporate taxes at current levels.

The body also suggested higher assistance amount under PM Kisan scheme and increased daily wages under MNREGA.

It also suggested that the government may use a part of the Rs 2.11 lakh crore RBI dividend to boost capital spending by 25 per cent in FY25.

Focus on employment generation, economists tell govt

During a pre-budget consultation meeting with Sitharaman, economists, including chief executive of the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development Nagesh Kumar and national co-convenor of Swadeshi Jagran Manch Ashwani Mahajan, urged the government to ensure that the budget is focused on employment generation. They also pitched for expanding the scope of the PLI scheme.

"We talked a lot about the need to push the manufacturing sector," Nagesh Kumar said after the meeting.

Financial sector participants seek tax soaps

Leading experts in the financial and capital markets sector urged the government to fix tax arbitrage wherever it exists and made a case for tax sops. They also called for deepening the market and providing some tax incentives.

Arun Kohli, MD & Country Head, Morgan Stanley India Company, said after the pre-budget consultation meeting that tax policies need to be stable and long-term oriented.

"We've suggested that since NBFC credit has grown and RBI has flagged over-dependence on banks, allocation of funds from SIDBI and NABARD could increase for refinancing of NBFCs," Raman Aggarwal, director, FIDC, said.

RAI wants govt to lower taxes

The Retailers Association of India (RAI) called for lower taxes for individuals to create demand and spur consumption besides seeking low-cost finance, subsidies, and benefits on land rates and necessities such as electricity for retailers.

According to RAI, the retail sector is second only to agriculture in terms of the number of people directly employed.

Tax benefits and relief to individual taxpayers will increase the monthly disposable income and support consumption, it said.

The budget should also outline supportive policies, simplified regulations, skill development and simplify GST norms to aid the development of the retail industry, it said.

"There is a need to provide lower interest rate to the retailers through the special announcement in the Budget to assure easier financing for the retail businesses."

It also asked the government to consider the food and beverages retail sector as an essential service and said "subsidies and benefits should be given on land rates and other necessities such as electricity".

Farm bodies call for higher R&D spending in the sector

Farm organisations and experts pitched for higher investment in agricultural research, rationalisation of fertiliser subsidies and infrastructure development to boost the sector's resilience against climate change.

They sought a major hike in the budget allocation for the Indian Council of Agricultural Research from Rs 9,500 crore to Rs 20,000 crore.

Experts also called for consolidating all agriculture-related subsidies for transfer through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and increasing the retail price of urea.

Other notable suggestions included disbanding the MSP committee, and commissioning a new agricultural policy for India and changing the funding ratio for human resource development in centrally sponsored schemes from 60:40 to 90:10, with the central government bearing 90 per cent of the cost for five years.

—With PTI inputs

Join our WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news, exclusives and videos on WhatsApp