2 Pre-Budget Memorandum 2023-2024: Suggestions on Direct & Indirect Taxes & Railways

SHIMOGA DISTRICT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY (R)
K.T. Shamaiah Gowda Road, Shimoga – 577 201, Karnataka, India | Ph: 08182 222646
Email: shimogadcci@gmail.com

Date: 25.01.2023

PRE-BUDGET MEMORANDUM FOR ECONOMIC
POLICIES 2023-24

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman,
Hon’ble Minister of Finance,
Govt. of India,
North Block,
NEW DELHI — 110 001.

Respected Madam,

Subject: Pre-Budget Memorandum 2023-2024: Suggestions on Direct Tax, Indirect Tax and Railways

We the SDCCI, Shimoga are pleased to submit our Pre-Budget Memorandum for 2023-24 in respect of suggestions on Direct Taxes, Indirect Tax and Railways. We have concentrated on Tier 2 & 3 cities like Shivamogga with following suggestions which, we are sure, will meet with your approval. Each of the suggestions has been necessitated on account of the critical issues of demand generation, job creation, industrialization especially in tier 2 cities.

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely,

for Shimoga District Chamber of Commerce and Industry Regd.,

Sri N. GOPINATH
President

Sri, PARAMESHWARA E.
Chairman, Taxation Committee

C. RECOMMENDATION TOWARDS DEVELOPMENT OF RAILWAYS;

a) “Birur- Talaguppa” Doubling with electrification; —As requested in the previous budget SDCCI is very thankful to the Government in respect of commencement of electrification of railway route. Doubling of tracks with complete Electrification of railway transport system is the essential and immediate requirement for the Shimoga areas as there is a large passenger and goods traffic to Bangalore, Mysore etc.,

At present Electrification work completed in Shimoga — Bhadravathi track and further extension required from Bhadravathi – Birur o one side and Shimoga -Talguppa on the other side.

Immediate attention required for Doubling of tracks as there is huge traffic in this route.

b) “Kotegangur” Couch care infrastructure and pit line work should be speed up. Delay in work leads to the cost escalation.

c) Re-scheduling Talguppa-Mysore Train Timing;

The present train timings of Talaguppa — Mysore (i.e. starts at 6. A.M. from Talaguppa and reach Mysore by 4 P.M.) is not very helpful and useful to the passengers. Timings need to be revised by start at 6.45 A.M. from Talaguppa and it should reach Mysore at 2.45 P.M. it will be more useful to passengers.

d) Instead of keeping Idle for 3 days in week in respect of Shimoga-Chennai train, it should run to Hyderabad in these days which is very useful and contribute revenue to the Railways.

e) As requested in the earlier Memorandum for Budget 2022-23, more importance to be given for following routes;

1. New train routeShimoga- Coimbatore via — Mysore-Chamarajanagar (route:Shimoga —Mysore — Chamarajanagar- Coimbatore); – It is well known fact that Shimoga is an Agricultural Hub and Coimbatore is an Industrial Hub. There is a large floating of passengers and goods from Shimoga to Mysore, Coimbatore and vice versa, the railway facility via Mysore and Chamarajanagar to Coimbatore will be the booster to the development of commercial and agriculture activities in both the regions.

2. Railway line to Shimoga— Bellary (via-Bhadravathi-Birur-Chickjajur-Balenahalli-Chalkere-Chitradurga-Molkalmur-Obalapuram-Rayadurga) —Having a distance of 317 kms. This route will connect people of Malnad with northern parts of the state. This train route helps to travel a large number of passengers who are depending on buses for travelling to neighbouring States Hyderabad and Telangana for business. Further, every night most of people from Kerala who travel via buses from Mangalore to Bellary, Hyderabad and other neighbouring states to reach home town or for their business activities taking 8 to 10 hours of journey. Train route between Shimoga-Bellary will definitely booster the regional economic growth.

3. New Broad-gauge Railway line to Shimoga-N.R.Pura (ChickmagaloreDist.) — This route is specifically required for the movement of agricultural produce as N.R.Pura region is a leading agriculture extractor for Rubber, Arecanut etc., It results in development of agro based industrial growth.

f) RECOMMENDATION TO SKILL UNIVERSITY:

Shimoga is an educational hub and it is centre point for all the Districts of Karnataka. Shimoga has more resource persons who are able to achieve desired goals. The main purpose of Skill Development will be done effectively and efficiently only if the city has full-fledged Skill University. The people around Shimogacan make use of it with affordable prices. This will reduce the burden on the citizen to move towards skill development for Metropolitan cities like Bangalore, Mumbai etc., Further, Shimoga has Two Medical Colleges, Two Ayurvedic Colleges, Number of Nursing Colleges, Engineering Colleges and one University for higher studies i.e.Kuvempu University. One SKILL DEVELOPMENT UNIVERSITY will entirely change the scenario of development, employment, infrastructure etc., for the developing tier-2 city like Shimoga.

g) RECOMMENDATION FOR MEGA FOOD PARKS:

Shimoga is vast Agriculture based area,  agro based industries and mega food parks can be developed. The primary objective of Mega Food Park Scheme of the Central can be achieved by creation of infrastructure for primary processing and storage near the farm in the form of Primary Processing Centers (PPCs) and Collection Centers (CCs) and common facilities and enabling Water, Electricity, Transportation facilities etc., at Central Processing Centre. This results in more and more employment opportunities. It establishes a mechanism to bring together farmers, processors and retailers and link agriculture production to the market to ensure maximization of value addition, minimization of wastage and improving farmers’ income.

h) RECOMMENDATION TOWARDS MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES AND OTHER I.T.INDUSTRIES:

1. Emergency Credit moratorium for MSMEs to be extended further beyond March 2023.

2. Control should be brought on the pricingof industrial inputs like Steel copper, aluminum etc. and alloying elements, oil and lubricants, etc.,

3. Reduced interest rates to the MSME’s, simple and minimum paper work to avail finance facilities and relaxation in requirement of collateral securities in some exceptional cases.

4. The limit on taxation of interest on provident fund should be removed. More and more savings in provident fund enables government to get long term funds at cheaper rate of interest for implementation of infrastructure projects.

5. India is emerging as an export manufacturing hub. To facilitate setting up of industrial units, India needs international standard industrial parks. Hence it is necessary to follow the guidelines of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) for setting up industrial parks.

6. Some additional Benefit in the form tax holidays (apart from existing benefits) and additional exemptions should be given to start-up companies in IT Parks for tier-2 and tier-3 cities thereby more and more companies can be opened in tier-2 and tier-3 results in more and more employment for local people. It also serves the purpose of establishment of Skill University.

Sri N. GOPINATH
President

Sri, PARAMESHWARA E.
Chairman, Taxation Committee

****************

HORRORS OF FACELESS ASSESSMENT IN THE HANDS OF INCONSIDERATE ASSESSMENT OFFICERS

Respected Minister Madam Smt Nirmala Seetharaman,

Sub: Faceless Assessment of ITRs filed by senior citizens like me should be given a choice to present their case in a face-to-face manner, in assessment as well as appeals.

I am Krishnamurthy B R from Shivamogga (Shimoga), Karnataka. Aged 71 years and a taxpayer for more than 30 years. It is appreciated that you have made the income tax returns filing easier and friendly for the digitally capable assessees. But there are a sizable lot of us ITR filers filing through a tax consultant only, because we are not digitally capable due to our age and difficulty of learning at this stage of life.

I was subjected to a faceless assessment scrutinising my filed IT returns and the Assessing Officer who handled it did not even consider the following facts:

1. Assessee being a senior citizen (71 years in my case)

2. The Financial Year 1.04.2020 to 31.03.2021 was affected by the country-wide pandemic lock down. This resulted in most of the agricultural sales and transactions being done in cash. Traders were closed or not available at our time of harvest. In our case, agents/buyers came to our doorstep late evening and paid in cash (about 12 lakhs), thus relieving us of the great risks of COVID-19 exposure that month.

My several pleas explaining the reason for this receipt of cash:

    • our Paddy Produce was at risk in June on account of rain
    • the only option was for us to sell to the buyer Mr Sanulla who arrived at our doorstep. He is procurement agent who earns his living by doorstep purchases from farmers, like me
    • I have even furnished the aadhar card of the buyer have been completely ignored.

All the details, documents and vouchers of cash payments provided by me were not at all considered for finalising my faceless assessment. In my view this is unpardonable treatment to a senior citizen aged 71 plus years. I am sure you understand the difficulties faced by people of my age to scan or upload hundreds of documents in files to websites that accept only files less than 5MB. I had to run pillar-to-post to get all these done! The Assessing Officer has just added a status in the website saying “Required explanation for his queries were not provided” ! This kind of faceless assessment and treatment, proposing to tax me with 30 plus lakhs and a penalty notice, etc., despite providing all the required supporting documents, is a rude shock. This could give assessees like me a heart attack!

This treatment from the Income Tax Department and the concerned officer has forced me to question the methods of our progressive government which we have supported in every manner for a systematic improvement and simplification of the tax process.

As you are a Member of Rajya Sabha from Karnataka I have taken the liberty to address this letter to you. Please provide a face-to-face assessment option to Senior Citizens like me and save lives. This is my plea to you. I hope you have received several requests like mine. My tax consultant shared a similar incident with me. A case of an aged fruit vendor receiving a demand notice of 1.8 crores, treating all the RTGS he received in his account as his income without even considering the debits in the course of his trading operations !

Even in my case, the AO has added the entire cash remittance to our joint account as my income. My initiative to bring in the family agricultural operations into the banking system is not appreciated by the AO at all ! We are taxpayers as well as honourable citizens of this great nation.

In summary, please allow Face-to-Face (In Person) Income Tax Assessment and Appeals option for Senior Citizens for at least the next 5 years. This will be a great help for the digitally not savvy victims like me.

KRISHNAMURTHY B R

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