union budget: Budget 2024: Sustained capex, fiscal prudence top suggestions for Sitharaman from stakeholders


Budget Expectations: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman concluded her customary stakeholder consultations for the Union Budget, meeting more than 120 invitees across 10 stakeholder groups over two weeks till Friday to gather their inputs.

Participants included representatives, economists and experts from industry, agriculture, trade unions, education, health, employment & skilling, MSME, trade & services, financial sector and capital markets, infrastructure, energy and urban sector, the finance ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The full Budget for FY25 will be presented on July 23.

Suggestions galore
During the meetings, Sitharaman received a wide range of suggestions, including the need for sustained capital expenditure and fiscal prudence, lowering tax rates to boost private consumption and increasing social and rural spending, said people with knowledge of the deliberations.
Industry bodies sought reforms in land, agriculture, capital, power and labour markets, launching an outcome-based employment policy, rolling out incentive schemes linked to jobs, and extending the March 2024 sunset date for low corporate tax on new manufacturing units, the people said.

Other suggestions include the need to roll out a new industrial policy, cut costs of doing business, further lowering of companies’ compliance burden and pursuing privatisation of state-run firms. Senior trade executives also sought adequate budgetary support to keep exports zero rated.

The finance minister “assured experts and representatives that their suggestions would be carefully examined and considered” while preparing the Budget, according to the statement.

The meetings were also attended by minister of state for finance Pankaj Chaudhary; finance secretary TV Somanathan; economic affairs secretary Ajay Seth; DIPAM secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey; financial services secretary Vivek Joshi; revenue secretary Sanjay Malhotra; corporate affairs secretary Manoj Govil and chief economic adviser V Anantha Nageswaran, among others.

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