budget 2017, cii, wish list, income tax, corporate tax
People show new currency notes of Rs 500 outside an ATM in Patna on Nov 24, 2016 (representational image).IANS

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has come out with its wish-list for Budget 2017, seeking changes in personal tax rates, exemption limits, corporate taxes and goods and services tax (GST). This comes a few days after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hinted at a CII event that the government would like to avoid populism in rail fares.

In its recommendations to the Narendra Modi government, the CII has said that corporate tax rates should be aligned to those prevailing in other Asian countries.

"In the other Asian countries, the prevailing maximum tax rate in case of companies ranges from 16-25 percent. Also, average effective corporate tax rate across industry sectors in India is about 22-23 percent. It is suggested that the corporate tax rate should be brought down to 18 percent (all inclusive)," the Hindu quoted from the CII's document submitted to the finance ministry.

As for income tax for individuals, the CII wants the exemption limit to be raised from the current Rs 2.50 lakh per annum annual income to Rs 3 lakh. The subsequent slabs of 10 percent, 20 percent and 30 percent should be applicable to annual income range of above Rs 3 lakh and up to Rs 10 lakh, above Rs 10 lakh and up to Rs 20 lakh and above Rs 20 lakh, respectively, according to the daily.

How far the suggestions would be acceptable is anybody's guess in the context of the government dismissing earlier reports of similar moves being reportedly contemplated. 

In a related report, the government said on Thursday that it has identified millions of individuals who have done high-value transactions but did not file their income tax returns in FY 2014-15.

Also, at a CII event on Indian Railways, Jaitley had said that the government would prefer the other "P" than populism. 

"Rather than populist measures, performance-oriented practice is the way forward for Indian Railways," he said while delivering a lecture at a conference on 'Accounting Reforms in Indian Railways - A Strategic Mission for Sustainable Growth', organised by the Ministry of Railways in partnership with the CII in New Delhi on Tuesday (December 20).