Budget 2016-17: Drabu promises industry-friendly environment

Minister for FinanceDr Haseeb Drabu today assured the members of Chamber of Commerce and Industries (CCI) Jammu that the Government’s endeavour is to ensure an enabling environment for the business and trade to flourish in J&K. He said the Government would incorporate as many industry-friendly initiatives in the Budget 2016-17 as possible. 

The Minister was addressing the members of CCI, Jammu at a maiden meeting of its kind at Chamber House, here. Commissioner Secretary Finance, Navin Kumar Choudhary, President CCI, Jammu, Rakesh Gupta, Senior Vice President CCI, Jammu, Sham Lal Langer and Secretary CCI, Jammu, Rahul Mahajan besides other office bearers of CCI, Jammu were also present in the meeting.  

Speaking on the occasion, the Finance Minister said he is a firm believer of promotion of local investment in the state. He asked industrialists and the trading community for their support and cooperation in the Government’s endeavour of streamlining the system so that their major concerns could be addressed and a judicious system worked out to facilitate ease of doing business. 

Responding to various issues flagged by members of CCI including delay in payment of bills at treasuries, tax audits and online system of filing returns, the Minister said that there is definite need to revamp and simplify the system and tax regime. The Minister added that the government has also introduced a PPP model which was recently approved by the Cabinet in which system of doing work has been simplified under the Swiss Challenge Method. 

Referring to delay in payments at treasuries, the Minister said efforts are being made to clear all pending payments, however, he urged the trading community to ensure that any work taken up by them has the requisite budgetary approval.  

With regard to frequent tax audits being conducted by the Commercial Taxes Department, the Minister said that he will ensure such audits are sparingly conducted and not used as a routine method of tax collection but to only penalize the evaders. He also asked the trading community for their cooperation by being tax compliant. 

The Minister underscored the importance of being aware about various online procedures and trading practices. He said it is need of the hour to be conscious about the GST model of taxation as well, and added that the government has also taken up the matter with the Union Government so that a GST incentive system could be worked out and incorporated.  

The Minister further said that the industry must take the responsibility to educate its community and familiarize it with the online process of filing returns. He said the Chamber of Commerce should take a lead in this regard and help enlighten their community and impart vision to them.