The Ministry of Finance has recently held the 7th Pre-Budget Consultations from 16-12-2019 to 20-12-2019, with various stakeholder groups from digital economy, fintech, start-ups, agriculture, industry, services, trade groups, infrastructure, energy and climate change sectors, industrialists, trade union and labour organization representatives, State Ministers, etc.
The main issues that were discussed amongst the stakeholders have been listed as below:
- Need for use of data technology in small and medium scale enterprises and for public governance
- Need for regulation of digital economy including privacy, financial regulation, etc
- Need for ease of doing business for start-ups
- Need for reforms in agricultural marketing, organic and natural farming,
- Need for storage infrastructure for agricultural produce,
- Need for focus on adapting renewable energy for economy and environment,
- Need for promotion of non-fossil fuel based energy,
- Need to ensure minimum wages of workers and skill development, etc.
The stakeholders put forth the following suggestions during the Pre-Budget Consultations:
- Introduction of incentives for encouraging the setting up of data centres and digital penetration in rural areas,
- Tax exemption for start-up units,
- Increased women employment and skill development schemes in India,
- Fiscal incentives to encourage farmers to maintain soil health, develop crop diversification, etc,
- Extend subsidy to producers of green manure, bio-fertilisers and bio-pesticides,
- Promote start-ups for research and development of new technologies in agriculture sector,
- Reduction of compliance burden on companies, simplification and rationalisation of labour laws,
- Enhanced availability of finance for renewable energy sector, lower lending rates, increased support for electric mobility, increased funds for handling environmental pollution, promotion of energy efficient technology for improving railway infrastructure, etc,
- Provision of social security to labour, enhanced allocation of funds for various Government schemes pertaining to skill development, job creation, etc.
A number of leading industrialists present in the Pre-Budget Consultations have also suggested various ways to achieve faster mergers and acquisitions, ways to reduce time involved in approving foreign direct investments, facilitate research and development to boost Make in India Scheme, etc. Further, the State Governments involved in the said Consultations also gave their suggestions on growth, investment, resource requirement and fiscal policies.
The Finance Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, welcomed all the suggestions put forth by various stakeholders and further, assured the State Governments that the memorandums submitted by them would be examined and considered accordingly.
Senior Legal Associate
The Indian Lawyer