FM holds pre-budget meet with industry and trade groups

'Monetary policy a calibrated approach'

FM holds pre-budget meet with industry and trade groups

 The Union Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that the economic situation at present is quite challenging but there is enthusiasm among industry to turn it to its advantage.

He said that there is need to give directional thrust to translate the same into better results. 

Apart from reviewing operations at the Western Naval Command here on Saturday, the Union minister presided over a meeting of the Financial Stability Development Council (FSDC) where he interacted with captains of Indian trade and industry as part of his pre-budget consultation meetings. 

Along with the Finance Minister, the meeting was attended by Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Expenditure Secretary Ratan P Watal and Revenue Secretary Rajiv Takru among others. Those present from Mumbai included heads of Securities and Exchange Board of India, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority and the Reserve Bank of India.

Earlier, in a meeting with RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, Jaitley had said that maintaining a balance between growth and inflation and fiscal consolidation are the top priorities for the NDA government. He also described the RBI's second bimonthly monetary policy as a calibrated approach to tackling inflation. 

Various suggestions were received from representatives of different industry and trade groups. Among the major suggestions were that the government follow the path of fiscal consolidation, curb inflation, especially food inflation, implement GST, defer GARR for at least three years, and no retrospective amendments in tax laws.Suggestions were made to follow the 3 Cs — credibility of policy, continuity of decisions and clarity of legislation among others. 

Other suggestions include transparency and clarity in tax laws, especially those relating to transfer pricing, encouraging foreign subsidiaries of Indian companies to bring back money by exempting dividends from MAT; and no MAT on exempted income such as long-term capital gains, among others. 

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