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Reasonable taxation, ease of doing business govt’s priority

Jaitley addresses media

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today outlined the road map for the second year of the NDA government which includes making taxation more reasonable and improving the ease of doing business in India.

Maintaining the speed of reforms and eliminating discretions would be the thrust areas of the government going forward as it completes one year in office, he told in an interview.

The Finance Minister also dismissed any perception that nothing has moved on the ground on the policy front in reviving the economy and said that view was confined only to a section of critics.

Answering a question about voices from India Inc. complaining that the government was not walking the talk, Jaitley said there was no such “overwhelming perception”.

Some of the reports complaining about the economy not having taken off were “inspired news items referring to a dozen people without naming a single”, he said.

A section of corporates voicing disappointment were those who were used to a “system of largesses”, according to the Minister.

As for taxation, the Minister said, the effort would be to make it “more reasonable”.

While on the indirect tax side, the government proposes to roll out the GST by April 1, 2016, on the direct taxes side the Minister said that the rates for corporate tax would be brought down to 25 per cent from 30 per cent over a period of four years.

The government also intends to eliminate exemptions while reducing the rate of corporate tax, though these would be retained for individual taxpayers.

“I would keep exemptions but keep that for individual tax payers and in the last two years I have strengthened the kind of exemptions,” he said, adding it would help in increasing demand and promoting growth.

Speaking about the challenges before the government, he said: “One there is a huge road map how to ease your doing business here…I would say (that) is work in progress”.

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