India Inc urges govt not to raise excise, service tax

Indian corporates have urged the finance minister not to raise excise or service tax till economic growth rate reaches the pre-crisis level of 9%

Concerned over the possibility of withdrawal of stimulus packages in the upcoming Budget, Indian corporates have urged finance minister Pranab Mukherjee not to raise excise or service tax till the economic growth rate reaches the pre-crisis level of 9%, reports PTI.

"We are afraid that rollback of stimulus packages, even partially, could derail the growth process and adversely impact the industrial sector," FICCI president Harsh Pati Singhania told PTI.

The stimulus packages should continue for another year or at least till 31st October, he said, pointing out that the economy is yet to achieve the pre-crisis growth level of 9%.

The finance ministry is believed to be considering partial withdrawal of stimulus given to the industry to combat the impact of the global financial crisis triggered by the fall of financial services firm Lehman Brothers in September 2008.

The Budget is slated to be presented on 26th February.

As part of the stimulus, the government reduced the excise duty in two tranches from 14% to 8% and service tax from 12% to 10%.

Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), while responding to queries send by PTI on withdrawal of stimulus said, "The very fact that we have had the worst financial crisis since 1929, involving the entire globe, reflects that recovery will be slow and enduring, with ample risk of double-dip recession on the way."

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