Mumbai: The forthcoming union budget 2008-09 is unlikely to offer any significant reduction in tax rates, though it may provide for larger subsidies and public spending on infrastructure. This was the finding of a survey of 300 business heads by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).
Most of the CEOs surveyed were of the opinion that the budget could have more benefits for the common man than to industry.
"Budget proposals of 2008-09 are likely to be traditional for Indian Inc, as the primary challenge for the government would be to sustain the growth momentum and thus no significant tax cuts are anticipated," Assocham said in a statement.
Many of the business heads surveyed expect the economy to maintain the growth momentum, enabling the government to collect the additional revenue needed for investment in infrastructure, agriculture sector and higher subsidies for food, fertiliser and petroleum, the survey showed.
The finance ministry will have to increase revenue receipts for financing investments in agriculture, education, health, defence and manufacturing, Assocham pointed out.
Of the 300 CEOs surveyed, about 270 said they do not expect any considerable fall in customs duty rates as the government may defer some of its obligations towards WTO, Assocham said.
Many also do not expect any reduction in excise duty rates also. While the income tax exemption limit could be raised by nearly Rs30,000, those earning more than Rs500,000 annually may be unaffected, the survey found.