TomorrowMakers Logo

Union Budget 2017 likely to be taxpayer-friendly

NEW DELHI: The post-demonetisation Budget is likely to be citizen- and taxpayer-friendly and will aim to push growth. This was the central message that emanated from an interaction between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a group of economists organised by the NITI Aayog on Tuesday.

The consultations saw the PM remark that while people in general were not tax evaders, they did want taxes better utilised and accounted for.

"Tax simplification figured quite a lot... on direct taxation, corporate and personal income tax, reducing exemptions, bringing down the tax rate and aligning tax system to make India competitive with international destinations," NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya said.

A source said the Modi government's third Budget may offer incentives and packages to boost consumption and accelerate economic growth, a concern after reports that demonetisation had suppressed demand and reduced discretionary spending.

After the meeting, Panagariya said all attendees stressed on the need to bring firms and businesses into the formal economy - a goal of demonetisation - as this would lead to growth of more secure and productive jobs.

Panagariya said the meeting between PM and economists focussed on three key points — agriculture, jobs and budget-related issues.

In the meeting, there was a discussion on strategies to work on Modi's goal to double farmers' income by 2022 and expand the digital payment revolution to include the agriculture sector, he said, adding there were suggestions on moving to high-value agriculture products.

A source said Modi sought suggestions on setting up or developing world-class agriculture universities on the lines of IITs and IIMs. Experts favoured simplification and reduction in personal income tax rates and harmonisation of customs duties to global levels in a bid to boost economic activities. On the inverted duty structure, it was suggested that harmonisation of tariffs could resolve the issue.
Back to Top