An increase in income tax exemption limits, support to women entrepreneurs, a long-term taxation policy and steps to boost consumption and savings are among the expectations of experts from the interim budget which will be presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1 ahead of Lok Sabha elections.
They also demand for parity in taxation among companies, partnerships and limited liability partnerships.
"This is going to be an interim budget but at least there may be some indications of full-budget benefits. There may be some concession to be offered to individual taxpayers under section 87A under which the overall tax exemption limit may be increased to Rs 8 lakh from now Rs 7 lakh, inclusive of rebates," All India Federation of Tax Practitioners national president Narayan Jain said.
Bharat Chamber of Commerce president N G Khaitan said there is a need for a long-term taxation policy and parity in taxation among companies, partnerships and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) for a level playing field for small and medium firms.
MSMEs, which have a huge contribution to the country's GDP and employment generation, are subjected to higher taxation, he said.
Khaitan also expects some actions to mitigate the burden on salaried persons with a reduction in the personal taxation front and boost consumption and savings.
Bengal Chamber of Commerce's fiscal affairs and taxation committee chairperson Vivek Jalan expected that a simplified "single hybrid scheme" for personal income taxation incorporating certain deductions could be rolled out.
The government needs to prioritise its 'Vasudeva Kutumbakam' (the whole world is one family) roadmap and India's leadership role in green manufacturing, the expert said.
Jalan hoped that customs duty on capital goods and raw materials like lithium-ion cells for electric vehicles to propel green energy initiatives could be reduced.
A government-facilitated settlement mechanism for customs disputes and a dedicated tribunal for handling GST-related cases may see the light of day.
Radhika Dalmia, chairperson of FICCI Ladies Organisation (Kolkata chapter), advocated tax relaxations for women entrepreneurs and more paid holidays for working mothers.
"Increasing the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana allowance and enhancing education benefits for girls are crucial steps. Strengthening financial inclusion and healthcare infrastructure along with prioritising education, particularly for girls, is vital for a more inclusive Bharat," she said.
mjunction services MD and CEO Vinaya Varma, in his expectations, said, "I think the role of export on e-marketplaces will become important with the government’s focus on Made in India. Therefore, a regulatory framework that acknowledges e-marketplaces as responsible players in facilitating cross-border payments, potentially granting them specific roles in the release or holding of funds based on pre-defined criteria and agreements, will be welcome."
The executive of the company, the B2B e-commerce joint venture by Tata Steel and SAIL, said that the interim budget must prioritise sustainable energy, digital adoption in manufacturing, and increased credit for MSMEs.
"The government must review TDS which is obligatory on us (eCommerce platforms) to deduct and deposit for payments made by the buyers," he added.