Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Andhra Chamber of Commerce president Baboolal P. Rathore has urged the Centre to help sustain the industrial growth momentum.

“I hope that the rising share of the manufacturing sector in India’s GDP will generate the much needed employment opportunities and spread the benefits of growth more equitably Mr. Rathore said, addressing the 79th Annual General Meeting of the Chamber on Friday.

As for export promotion, Mr. Rathore wanted the Chamber to urge the Union Finance Minister to support the exporters by increasing duty drawback rates, stepping up export incentives and re-introducing 80-HHC exemption under the Income Tax. The Chamber also appealed to the Finance Minister to restore the benefit under Section 35 (B) of the Income Tax Act, which would provide weighted deduction of 133 per cent against the export promotion expenses as also waiver of the Fringe Benefit Tax.

Suggesting a reduction in the indirect taxes imposed on industry, Mr. Rathore said higher tax had a negative impact. The introduction of the Value Added Tax paved the way for moving to a unified goods and services tax regime as recommended by the Kelkar Committee. Mr. Rathore urged the Finance Minister to announce a road map for moving to a GST regime in the coming budget. Welcoming the new president of the Chamber for 2007-08, G. Sudhakar, the outgoing president said the Chamber, established on August 17, 1928, had 1,430 members and 55 affiliated Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Trade Associations. Mr. Sudhakar said he would initiate steps to equip the Chamber with modern tools of information technology.

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