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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Budget Wishlist 2009

My wishlist regarding the Budget proposals:

  • The budget should bring forth clarity about the taxation aspects of Limited Liability Partnerships [LLPs]. This will help foster their growth, especially since it is a better and less expensive form of constituting a business.
  • The New Pension Scheme, introduced recently, has not caught on, more so since it's on EET model. The FM needs to seriously consider the suggestions to bring parity between NPS and other savings schemes like PF etc. Otherwise, this very efficient and people-friendly scheme will be left without many takers.
  • Another aspect which needs the FM's serious attention is the issue of pricing of petroleum products. The prevailing method is quite messy and lacks transparency. The earlier this is resolved and fine-tuned, the better for the fisc.
  • This brings us to the topic of fiscal discipline. Even as there is the need for the state to step up its own spending, it needs to be seen that fiscal deficit does not turn out of control. Towards this end, stake sale of profitable PSUs is advisable. At the same time, to put more money into the consumers' pockets, tax breaks like raising the exemption level and/or restoring Standard Deduction are necessary. To raise revenue, dividends above a certain threshold limit can be brought under the tax net.
  • The Govt needs to move forward on the path of introducing Uniform GST. For this, FM should present a road map towards adoption of GST and abolition of CST.
  • Development of our creaking infrastructure is critical to ensure sustained growth. To raise revenues for these long-gestation projects, a vibrant bond market is vital. The FM should introduce the necessary reforms for the development of our bond markets.