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No 25 per cent tax for big firms soon, hints Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: Finance minister Arun Jaitley told big industrial houses that the government will reduce corporate tax rate for them to the promised 25 per cent only after all the exemptions given to the industry have ended.
Jaitley also said the states are not in favour of including petrol and diesel into GST at the moment, ruling out any immediate levy of the new indirect tax on these petroleum products. “So far the mood of states (most of the states) is not in favour of including it (in GST) at the moment. But I am sure as the GST experience moves on, I think, natural gas, real estate — these are areas which are to be brought in and then probably at some stage we will keep trying for petrol, diesel and potable alcohol,” he said.
Jaitley said that he had in 2015 announced to cut corporate tax rate to 25 per cent, from 30 per cent, in four years with the condition that all exemptions would have to go.
The finance minister said at post-budget meeting organised by industry chamber Ficci that it would not be proper to end exemptions midway as some industries may have been set up based on them. “Therefore, the opportunity to reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 per cent will arise when all the exemptions end in the due course,” he said.
The finance minister said that next year buoyancy in GST collections as well as indirect taxes gave him confidence that it would be easier to meet the fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent set for 2018-19.