“The industry has welcomed Budget 2017 because it reflects continuity and does not propose too many amendments in the tax laws. This, coupled with simpler tax compliance procedures will significantly help widen the tax base,” said Mr Frank D’Souza, Partner, Tax & Regulatory Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), at an interactive Open House session jointly organized by All India Association of Industries (AIAI) and World Trade Center Mumbai.

Welcoming reduction or exemption of customs duties on point-of-sale (PoS) devices, micro ATMs, iris scanners and other digital payment enabling devices to promote digitization, Mr Bhupender Singh, Director, Indirect Tax, PwC, noted that it would help more manufacturers take the plunge into the Make-in-India initiative, besides making it easy for the common man to adopt to the changing times.

“The increased focus on irrigation, railways and other infrastructure sectors in the Union Budget should provide the necessary thrust to get back our economic engine to chug at a higher pace,” remarked Mr Vijay Kalantri, President, All India Association of Industries in his welcome speech. “Bringing down the tax rates and eliminating the fear of the tax authorities is the only sure way to expand the tax base,” he added.

Rooting for enhanced tax compliance, Mr Kalantri noted that the effectiveness of our laws depended on their implementation, which in turn was dependent on a liberal tax policy.

“The affordable housing sector, clarification on indirect tax provisions for foreign portfolio investors, and the introduction of one-page form for filing tax returns by individuals with taxable incomes of up to Rs 5 lakh are welcome efforts by the government,” said Shailesh Monani, Partner, PwC. It will be crucial to the government’s efforts to quicken the pace of economic development.

Mr. Bhupender Singh, Director, Indirect Tax, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ms. Rupa Naik, Executive Director, All India Association of Industries and Director (Projects), World Trade Center Mumbai, Capt. Somesh Batra, Vice Chairman, World Trade Center Mumbai, Mr. Frank Dsouza, Partner, Tax & Regulatory Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Mr. Shailesh Monani, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers