Pre-budget meet: FM Sitharaman consults social sector representatives; economists seek tax reforms
In a pre-budget consultation with representatives of Social Sector, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held her fifth Pre-Budget meeting with the stakeholders today.
In a pre-budget consultation with representatives of Social Sector, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held her fifth Pre-Budget meeting with the stakeholders today, according to a Ministry of Finance statement. Sitharaman said the public investment in social infrastructure like education, health and other services is a key determinant of quality of life of the people.
The Finance Minister said the present government is committed to improve educational standards, skilling the youth, enhancing job opportunities, reducing disease burden, empowering women and improving human development in order to have an inclusive development, said the statement.
The main areas of the discussion included the issues relating to Health-Primary health & Tertiary services, Ayush and Ayurveda; Education- School & University education, Private & Public education; Social protection-old age, Women and Children, Dalits and Other Backward Classes and Youth; Pensions and Human Development among others.
In a similar meeting with economists, the FM was suggested to have further simplification of GST, implementation of direct tax code, initiating job-oriented growth measures and maintaining fiscal prudence for the ensuing Budget. The economists were of the view that the Budget, to be presented in the Lok Sabha on July 5, should set the tone for the next five years and is a unique opportunity to promote manufacturing through 'Make in India'.
They also touched upon a host of macroeconomic factors like economic growth, jobs, fiscal management, investments and public sector borrowings, according to a finance ministry statement.
The finance minister is holding customary meetings with different stakeholders, including industry and farmers' bodies. This was the sixth such pre-Budget consultancy meeting.
Among other major suggestions were removing bottlenecks in supply-chain, framing EXIM policy for agriculture, doing away with specific duties on textiles, reviving inter-state councils for holistic domestic growth, skilling youths, giving fillip to services and manufacturing sector, and bringing structural reforms for a long-term growth.
Stability of tax rates, reduction in tariffs, further simplification of GST, implementation of direct tax code, promoting labour intensive sectors, constitution of independent fiscal policy committee and incentivising digital transactions were also made part of the discussions.