The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has asked the government to adhere to its fiscal deficit target of 6.8% of GDP and reduce the deficit to 4.5% by financial year 2025-26.

In a pre-budget memorandum submitted to the finance ministry, CII wanted the government to rationalise non-productive expenditure by better targeting subsidies on fertilisers, agri-inputs, electricity, among others through direct benefit transfer (DBT).

The industry body has also submitted a list of proposals that can attract investments. To attract private investment in the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), CII asked the government to put in place conducive regulatory framework, transparent bidding process, flexible contract management and a credible dispute settlement procedure. It sought tax incentives for investments in Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) and proposed bringing them under the Insolvency and Bankrupcy code (IBC) as suggested by government think-tank NITI Aayog.

CII also wanted the projects delineated under the NIP and Gati Shakti Scheme to be completed on time, and the shelf-ready projects that are in the Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), listed out for implementation.

In order to incentivise public investment in housing, construction and real estate, CII asked the government to extend the interest subvention scheme available on low-cost housing to cover total housing cost of up to Rs 35 lakh instead of Rs 25 lakhs at present. An increase in the allocation under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) from Rs 27,500 crore allocated in the Union Budget 2021-22 has also been proposed.

Implementation of the National Urban Rental Housing Policy (NURHP), stepping up investment in agri-infrastructure such as cold chain, warehousing, logistics and irrigation etc., increased allocation under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), implementation of the Kelkar Committee recommendation for the PPP projects and speedy dispute settlement in infrastructure projects are among the suggestions.

CII also wanted the government to develop transparent institutional capacity to plan, prepare and complete big ticket projects to minimise cost and time overruns. It wanted release of all dues, whether outstanding payments or tax refunds to industry immediately. Also, release of all outstanding payments to the state governments and other service providers.

The CII advocated active use of the Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) for settling the delayed payments to MSMEs. Decriminalising business interfacing laws such as Partnership Act, IBC, Consumer Protection Act, Competition Act, Metrology Act etc was another suggestion.

In the health sector, CII sought increase in public investment to at least 2.5-3% of GDP by 2025 from 1.29% at present. It called for a REITS on healthcare, which would invest in healthcare infrastructure. Creation of a Medical Innovation Fund for supporting companies with the capital to promote digital healthcare infrastructure and fiscal incentives for the creation of hybrid-cloud models, which includes on-premise capability as against only a public cloud model, to ensure data protection within the territory of the country etc, under the Digital Health Mission was also advocated.

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