Virtually ruling out rollback of 3 per cent hike in excise duty on SUVs, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today assured India Inc that a clutch of decisions, mainly on indirect taxes, would be announced during the course of debate on budget and Finance Bill in Parliament. In his post-budget meeting with the captains of industry, he said the auto sector needed some help observing that high interest rates are impacting auto sales. He also expressed the confidence that the Reserve Bank will reduce interest rates though RBI Governor will have to take a call in this regard. "We will re-look at all suggestions on indirect taxes and announcements will be made in Parliament.
I have all of March to look into all suggestions. We will take decisions and announce them when I reply to debate in Parliament by end of March," he said. The budget, he said, contained certain announcements that require legislative changes and some on which only mere executive actions are needed. Merely because something was not announced or touched upon did not mean that those areas would be ignored, he said.
"Budget making is a continuous process. When I reply to the debate on the Budget, there will be some more announcements and then when we reply to the Finance Bill there will be more announcements. A number of decisions which are in the making, or are in the process of being taken will be announced in Parliament," he said. Referring to the increase in excise duty on SUVs from 27 per cent to 30 per cent, he said dual pricing on diesel at the retail pumps was not possible.
The three per cent increase can be a way of realising the subsidy on diesel, which 98 per cent of the SUVs use. The basic message of the budget was to give signal to the country and world that India was on the path of fiscal consolidation and to investors world wide that they can invest in the country. MORE PTI