Business

Firms for more ease of doing business

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairs a pre-Budget meeting with industrialists, in New Delhi on Thursday.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairs a pre-Budget meeting with industrialists, in New Delhi on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

India Inc. makes suggestions on mergers and acquisitions, last mile issues at pre-Budget meet with FM

India Inc. leaders, including Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal, CII president Vikram Kirloskar and Assocham president Balkrishan Goenka, on Thursday asked the government to take measures to augment ease of doing business to “create more freedom for the industry to perform.”

In a pre-Budget meeting with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the corporate leaders highlighted several issues, including certain income tax (I-T) matters coming in the way of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) or slowing them down.

“I have come here today to discuss only one thing — make doing business easy in the country. That was what my thrust was,” Mr. Mittal told reporters after the meeting.

He said some suggestions about M&A, demergers, NCLT process, certain sections of I-T that were coming in the way of M&A or slowing them down were made.

“The idea is to create more freedom for the industry, for them to perform. I think the Finance Minister received them very well with her associates and secretaries. What we look forward to this Budget is that they unleash the energy of the Indian entrepreneurs to do more,” Mr. Mittal said.

Echoing similar views, Mr. Goenka said for “ease of doing business, States have to play an important role” and last mile issues are there, which need to be resolved.

RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group chairman Sanjiv Goenka said the discussions “centred more around what can be done to stimulate growth, to facilitate the ease of doing business.”

“I think the Finance Minister and her team were extremely open to all suggestions,” Mr. Goenka said, adding “it is the first time I have seen this kind of response from the government.”

On the current slowdown and its impact on capacity utilisation, he said, “We all recognised that it is going to take a couple of quarters, three quarters, four quarters, before this capacity gets utilised. We understand that, and that is the reality of the situation.”

Reducing I-T

FICCI president Sandip Somany said the industry representatives gave suggestion to the FM “to reduce I-T for those who earn less than ₹20 lakh a year so that there is more disposable income in the hands of consumers and the economy benefits.”

He further said, “We have also asked the FM to take measures to reduce EMIs, which can happen only if the banks reduce the interest rates on loans.”

Stating while the RBI had cut 135 bps in rates, banks had reduced them by only 45 bps, Mr. Somany said, “If there can be more transmission of RBI’s rate cut to consumers, then the EMIs will reduce and it will also improve consumption.”

A Finance Ministry statement said, “During the interactive session, prominent industrialists spoke about improving regulatory environment to safeguard investments through ease of doing business, increasing export competitiveness, reviving private investment and kick-starting growth measures.”

Industrialists also suggested ways to boost rural economy, especially to increase consumption, it added.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 6:52:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/firms-for-more-ease-of-doing-business/article30351909.ece

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