By Aravind Srivatsan, Neha Malhotra
Indian Union Budget 2021-22: The pandemic has thrown the worldwide economies into disarray. In addition to severe well being implications for the humankind, the unrelenting disaster has left an indelible influence on economies internationally as nicely. In response, governments worldwide have launched varied fiscal measures. Amidst the excessive expectation of a pandemic-struck nation, the Indian Government is treading a tightrope with tax revenues at an all-time low and surmounting strain to kickstart the financial system. Several tax and authorized reforms are anticipated to form up India in 2021.
Financing the restoration
Novel strategies of elevating funds to satisfy excessive spurt in expenditure would be the key as there’s restricted fiscal house left to introduce any new taxes. The authorities might plan to introduce tax-free bonds with engaging returns to spice up infrastructure spending and to handle unemployment and enhance demand.
To finance Government aid measures viz. vaccination distribution or grants to severely affected States and to offer a stimulus to the infrastructure sector, the federal government may think about issuing “Corona bonds” yielding a horny return to be subscribed by public at giant. Certain advantages corresponding to “exemption of tax on interest on these Bonds up to some limits, say Rs 2.5 lakhs or on any gain arising from transfer of such bonds” may very well be thought-about by the federal government to set off substantial subscriptions by the lots.
Further, to strengthen infrastructure, there’s a must step up funding in infrastructure. Funding for this may very well be facilitated by a problem of Listed-Infra Bonds. This ought to be a long-term bond obtainable to the general public, establishments and corporations with a floating price of 1% over the earlier quarter’s treasury yield which on redemption can be taxable at a concessional price of 5%. There may very well be a further 1% curiosity for institutional traders.
Strengthening the enterprise phase
Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have been notably extra prone to the pandemic’s financial influence. For encouragement of the expansion of suchlike, the Government may think about offering tax exemptions on say 50% of their earnings supplied that such earnings are deposited in a Scheduled Bank Account and reinvested in eligible Plant & Machinery inside a stipulated qualifying interval. For MSMEs in hospitality sector, the Government may encourage taxpayers who incur expenditure on applications corresponding to MICE occasions to be eligible for tax credit score.
In the spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat, contemplating the profitable advantages which might accrue from creating patents in India, the Government may think about granting deductions in respect of expenditure on in-house analysis and improvement. In addition to standard areas of R&D, there ought to be a give attention to agriculture, low yields and the upper meals and dietary wants of the nation. India has made substantial investments in cross-border R&D by means of M&A over the past twenty years. Several insurance policies may be introduced by the Government for cross-border M&A to facilitate consolidation of abroad companies.
To foster funding by giant companies in rural India and enhancement of employment and infrastructure, exemptions from capital features or guide revenue tax may very well be supplied topic to stipulated situations corresponding to requirement of investing these features over a particular interval (e.g. three years) for furtherance of the agricultural financial system. Further, the Government may think about increasing the scope of “specified business” below part 35AD that gives investment-linked tax incentives. Investment in proposed 5G expertise for “telecommunication sector” to realize vital web penetration in rural India also needs to be labeled as a specified enterprise.
A brand new labour regulation regime is predicted to unfold itself within the upcoming instances. Consolidation of twenty-nine Central labour legal guidelines into 4 labour codes would deliver alongside drastic adjustments. Fixed-term employments will see an vital change. The workers engaged for a specified length can even get pleasure from tenure-based advantages like everlasting workforce. To encourage industries to embrace such mannequin, the deduction below part 80JJAA is predicted to be enhanced, resultantly boosting employment, and benefiting companies.
Connecting India to the Global worth chain
With a view to modernise port infrastructure, set up port-based connectivity, and develop coastal communities, Sagarmala mission was launched. For coastal SEZs notified below this mission, the Government is predicted to additional notify clusters that will come up in these Coastal SEZs/corridors and allow deduction below part 35AD adopted by eligibility necessities to assert 15% company tax price. The Government may additionally encourage institution of Global In-house Centres (GICs) round these corridors by proposing 15% tax price to create substantial employment alternatives. Further, owing to the requirement of considerable funding in land, a coverage framework from the Government for leasing industrial land at a nominal price is required.
Besides, the federal government ought to look into making a coverage framework which allows a better proportion of used Plant & Machinery to be transferred in an effort to facilitate re-location of provide chains or factories outdoors India into India. The Government may additionally notify aggressive set of switch pricing markups which additional assist enterprise relocation/growth and supply certainty to international traders on switch pricing issues.
(Aravind Srivatsan is Tax Leader & Partner, and Neha Malhotra is Director, Nangia Andersen LLP. Views expressed are authors’ personal.)