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    Retailers seek abolition of service tax in budget

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    Retail companies in the organised retail sector want the government to take a series of initiatives in the forthcoming budget that would boost consumption and have sought ‘industry status’ as well as abolition of the service tax to beat back the slowdown.

    group president said that besides granting industry status to the sector, the government should allow FDI into multi-brand retailing and announce some special sops for the sector.

    “There should be less restrictions on the retail sector and the government should grant it industry status. It’s a very big sector and a major employer,” he said.

    Only a small portion of the retail sector is organised and falls under the purview of locl laws. Khemka also said the central service tax should be abolished as it is having a negative impact on the sectors profitability.

    CEO said, however, that the industry was not expecting any big packages or tax concessions from the budget, but wanted the government to provide a big boost in consumption.
    “We believe increasing consumption should be a priority for the government rather than focusing just on investments,” Biyani said.

    However, he is not much optimistic about gaining industry status for the sector.

    “We are not expecting the declaration of industry status, at least in this year’s budget,” Biyani said, and added that any decision on FDI in the sector is unlikely to figure.

    Source: Financial Chronicle