India Inc on Friday made a strong pitch for an investor friendly budget that could give a boost to the economic slowdown seeking cut in excise and customs duty and a stable direct tax regime.

Opposing the introduction of Inheritance Tax, the captains of the industry raised concerns on the taxation of higher income individuals and opposed the introduction of inheritance tax in the budget. ``We have concerns on taxation of higher income. Tax rates should be stable. The government should not do anything that will disturb the savings rate. By putting inheritance tax we'll bite into savings of citizens,’’ senior vice president of FICCI Siddharth Birla told reporters at a conference here organised by India Inc at FICCI here.

Demanding fast track rollout of Goods and Services Tax (GST) at the earliest, they asked the government cut subsidies and pursue the path of fiscal consolidation. ``Stable fiscal and regulatory regime must. Policy makers should think on these lines seriously. A subsidy sharing mechanism for state-run oil marketing companies has to be put in place,’’ former ONGC chief and chairman of FICCI Hydrocarbons committee, R. S. Sharma said.

FICCI president, Naina Lal Kidwai pitched for more capital to be made available to the banking sector and further expansion of banking services. ``Banking sector has to be larger whether it is through existing banks expanding operations or new banks coming in. More capital has to be made available to banking sector,’’ she added.

A recent survey conducted by the industry body released today, 77 per cent of the respondents felt that the current business environment in the country was not favourable for capacity expansion. The survey also found that investing outside India by the Indian industry was easier and better than undertaking investments within the country.

Moreover, 90 per cent of the respondents believed that a cut in the interest rates was essential to give an impetus to investments. The survey was conducted before the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) slashed repo and Cash Reserve Ratio rates by 0.25 per cent last week.

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