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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman received a host of suggestions during her pre-budget consultation meetings, ranging from streamlining the income tax regime to reducing the tax on electric vehicles, to continuation of the allocation on public capital expenditure and an urban employment guarantee program to stimulate employment. generation in urban areas, among others. The Minister of Finance’s pre-budget consultations with various segments of the economy ended yesterday.

On the main suggestions made by the different stakeholder groups, the Ministry of Finance said: “The representatives of the stakeholder groups made a number of suggestions for the next budget which included a green certification mechanism to help MSMEs , an urban employment guarantee program to stimulate employment production in urban areas, streamlining of income tax, creation of innovation hubs, programs to improve national supply chains, reduction of taxes on electric vehicles and introduction of an electric vehicle (EV) policy.

Measures to promote India as a green hydrogen hub, social sector entrepreneurship fund for social impact businesses, training and accreditation of care economy workers, portable social allowance for children , National Water and Sanitation Regulatory Authority, coverage of non-union workers state insurance company (ESIC), continued public investment, fiscal consolidation and lower tariffs, were among the others recommendations received by the Minister during the discussions.

The Minister of Finance chaired the pre-budget consultation meetings for the 2023-2024 budget virtually between November 21 and 28.

According to the Ministry of Finance, more than 110 invitees representing seven stakeholder groups attended the eight meetings scheduled during this period. Stakeholder groups include representatives and experts from agriculture and agribusiness, infrastructure and climate change, financial sector and capital markets, services and trade, social sector, trade unions and labor organizations and economists.

It may be noted that previously, Sitharaman had given economic growth the top budgetary priority. She said economic growth will be given top priority in the upcoming budget during her official visit to the United States last month and also mentioned that amid the current geopolitical situation, energy prices and fertilizers are one of the main challenges in the short term.

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