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No more tax concessions during 2008-09: Montek

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Setting at rest speculation about the possibility of tax cuts to boost growth, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today said the government will not change the tax structure during the current fiscal, ending March 31.

"Taxes will not be altered between now and the next budget," he told reporters on the sidelines of a partnership summit being organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in the capital.

The next regular budget is likely to be presented sometime in July, while the government will come out with an interim budget and a vote-on-account in February to complete the essential business in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Ahluwalia said, the government would have to actively use both monetary and fiscal policies in the coming fiscal to boost growth, which is expected to come down to around 7 per cent from 9 per cent in the previous fiscal.

"If we utilise whatever we have announced in the budget, there will be a lot of expenditure," he added.

The government, as part of the stimulus packages to neutralise the impact of the global financial meltdown on the Indian economy, had reduced excise duty by 4 per cent and raised public investment, especially on infrastructure sector projects.

Public expenditure, as per the two supplementary demands for grants approved by Parliament earlier, will go up by 20 per cent during the fiscal, over and above the Rs 7,50,000 crore given in the budget.

The Reserve Bank too reduced key policy rates and ratios releasing Rs 3,20,000 crore into the system and signalling a soft interest rate regime.

First Published: Tue, January 20 2009. 16:23 IST