Industry body Assocham Sunday released a charter of demands to make India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025 and called on political parties to incorporate the same in their Lok Sabha poll manifestos. Listing out the charter, Assocham in a statement said it wants political parties to pledge, among other steps, to enable growth rate of 8-8.5 per cent per annum.
Some of demands that Assocham wants political parties to incorporate in their 2019 election manifestoes include simplification of GST structure, time bound dilution of government stake in Public Sector Undertaking (PSUs), providing tax rebate of 1 per cent to companies that offer over 20 per cent jobs for women and cut in corporate income tax for MSME sector. It further suggested expeditious roll-out of Ayushman Bharat and reducing education cost by minimising GST on outsourced education services from 18 per cent to 5 per cent.
To boost economic growth and investment, the industry body has suggested creation of development finance institutions to provide long term non bank funding option to the industry. To improve farmers’ income, the industry body suggested the exemption of GST on leasing services for farm equipment and machinery, as well as creation of Technology Up-gradation Fund (TUF) for agriculture to provide capital subsidy. “Alleviate the losses to farmers from perishable produce by setting up robust supply chain system and cold storage or equivalent facilities at airports/ stock junctions for efficient transportation,” it said. To boost manufacturing, the industry has pitched for gradual simplification of GST structure aiming for dual rate slab 8 and 16 per cent.
It has also suggested reduction in the corporate income tax to 15 per cent (from present 25 per cent) for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) over a period of 5 years and 20 per cent (from present 30 per cent) for large companies over a period of 5 years. Among other steps, the industry body has suggested taxing income from renting of housing properties at a flat rate of 10 per cent, deduction from rental income under Section 24(a) to be increased from 30 per cent to 50 per cent to improve Rate of Return from renting. It suggested exemption of long term capital gain on securities held for 3 years and more and an additional 50 lakh limit be given under Section 54EC for investment in CPSE ETFs bond market. The Lok Sabha polls will be held in seven phases starting April 11. All political parties are in the process of preparing their election manifesto.