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FinMin invites feedback for Budget

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

From the usual refrain of increasing threshold of personal income tax from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs five lakh, the common man wants the government to announce a new fund for onions in the Budget for 2016-17. A few of them suggested to the government to do away with exemptions.

After convening a meeting of tax experts to seek inputs for the Budget, the finance ministry on Tuesday invited suggestions from the public.

Within some time, people started giving their suggestions on "Complex taxation process for individuals not only makes their life miserable but also created difficulties to file IT returns as well as it gives ways for tax cheating. Kindly abolish all exemptions. Increase the taxable income slab from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs five lakh," writes one Satya Bhushan Sarna.

"...Please make a new fund for onions... because this (is a ) big matter for the government," opines Agresh Joshi.

Rajan meets Jaitley
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan, on Tuesday, met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, ahead of the upcoming monetary policy meeting on September 29.

“We discussed a number of issues,” Rajan told reporters, but did not comment further. The meeting was also attended by Finance Secretary Ratan Watal, Financial Services Secretary Anjuly Chib Duggal, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian and, surprisingly for such meetings, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.

RBI is scheduled to present its fourth bi-monthly monetary policy of the current financial year on September 29, amid clamour by the government and the industry, for an interest rate cut to bring down cost of capital and boost growth.

“Common sense says the rates should come down,” Jaitley told the British newspaper Financial Times earlier this week. He said if interest rates were lowered, the economy could grow faster than 7-7.5 per cent.

The RBI governor has cut interest rates thrice this year, each time by 0.25 basis points.

Earlier on Tuesday, Rajan addressed a town hall of micro, small and medium enterprises in New Delhi. The town hall was organised by RBI to create awareness of banking facilities for MSME Enterprises engaged in e-commerce business

“With the growth of e-commerce trading in India, lending to MSME entrepreneurs in e-commerce space has made a strong business case for the banks in view of the changing dynamics in the economy like demographic patterns; urbanisation trends; increasing disposable income and dependence on technology platforms like tablets, smart phones; growth in internet user base and availability of easy payment options,” Rajan was quoted as saying by an official RBI statement.

Rajan said with continuous hand-holding of MSME entrepreneurs, bankers can enable these MSMEs to sell their products on e-commerce space and reach a huge market space without having brick and mortal market place.

But, this is the first time that the government is seeking suggestions from the general public.

A finance ministry note said inputs from the public are requested to infuse more transparency into the Budget-making exercise and to have people as partners in the exercise.

Earlier this year, the Aam Admi Party government in Delhi had organised 'mohalla sabhas' to seek to get feedback from public.

First Published: Wed, September 23 2015. 00:40 IST