Our Bureau

New Delhi, Feb. 7

MEMBERS of Parliament attached to the consultative committee on finance on Tuesday backed the corporate sector's demand for a re-look at the Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT)

At a pre-budget meeting with the Union Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, members of the consultative committee said that the Government should avoid double taxation like taxing dividend of companies. They also demanded an early introduction of the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill.

The members also pitched for a greater focus on rural areas, especially the plight of farmers and an increase in investment in agriculture.

The measures suggested for the farm sector include increasing subsidy on agriculture; lowering rates of interests for the sector; introducing turnover tax to fund agriculture; specific incentives and faster reforms and modernisation of agriculture.

Other suggestions include lower import duties on coal and aluminium; a full infrastructure status to tourism and more exemption to this industry; identification of 5-10 technologies/industries for focused development and faster reforms in power and rural electrification.

Members also sought schemes for retired and old people with a different tax structure, encouraging private investment in infrastructure, strengthening of food processing and water harvesting and water-linking schemes, and restructuring of CST and VAT rates.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 8, 2006)
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