Worried over the impact of global financial turmoil on the economy, Indian Companies today asked the finance ministry to retain tax rates at existing levels, but increase exemption limits to promote growth. In their customary pre-Budget meeting with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, industry leaders also demanded that healthcare services should be kept outside the ambit of service tax and minimum alternate tax (MAT) be rationalised.

Besides, they also made a case for giving infrastructure status to aviation, telecom, healthcare and education sectors, quick implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and continuation of interest rate subvention scheme for exporters till March 31, 2013.

The meeting was attended by ITC Ltd chairman Y C Deveshwar and HUL MD and CEO Nitin Paranjpe and representatives of industry chambers.

Pitching for enhancement in the income tax limit, Ficci President R V Kanoria demanded that 30 per cent tax slab should apply to individuals with an annual income of more than Rs 10 lakh, as against Rs 8 lakh now.

“We have made a case for retaining the tax rates at the present level. There should be no increase in corporate tax, service tax and excise,” Kanoria said.

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