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India Inc anticipates 2% slash in peak customs duty in 07-08 Budget

26
Feb '07
As the inflation control is on top of the agenda of the government, an ASSOCHAM Business Barometer (ABB) Survey of CEOs reveals that they expect significant cut in customs duty rates and investment measures for crisis-ridden agriculture in the budget 2007-08.

A majority of 72 per cent of 150 CEOs and MDs surveyed by ABB anticipates that the Finance Minister P Chidambaram may bring about a considerable reduction in the customs duties from a peak level of 12.5 per cent to 10 per cent to improve supplies of both essential commodities and the raw material for industrial goods.

The CEOs and MDs feel that besides the need to check inflation, the other important reason for the customs duty cut would be the commitment of the government to bring down the tariff to the ASEAN level. An overwhelming majority of 68 per cent of ABB respondents expect the Finance Minister to announce tax breaks on deposit mobilisation by the banks, said ASSOCHAM President, Mr. Venugopal N. Dhoot while releasing its ABB here.

Banks have been facing the problem of deposit mobilization with the upsurge in the credit demand and increase in the cash reserve ratio and repo rate. The CEOs expect a positive step by the Finance Minister to boost the bank deposits, in the form of relaxation in the lock-in-period for time deposits. In the wake of skyrocketing inflation, a cut in the excise duty on crude oil in forthcoming Budget is also expected, feels a considerable section of the industry.

To give a boost to the languishing agriculture sector, India Inc. is hopeful about the increased budgetary allocations for the farm sector coupled with a package of duty cuts for the food processing sector. As many as 90 per cent of the respondents remained optimistic about the liberal offers for farm sector in the budget.


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