Making a strong case for reduction in taxes on petrol and diesel, CII President Sanjiv Bajaj on Tuesday said it should be done in a collaborative manner between the Centre and states with a view to containing the rising inflation.
In an interview to PTI, he said taxes on petrol and diesel were increased by the government at a time when the price of crude oil in the international market was low and the same needed to be reversed.
"Very clearly one of our prime constituents of inflation is oil. We've seen the rise on the ground of oil prices resulting in petrol prices. We've seen the impact on inflation and this needs to be urgently addressed.
"We know taxation, both Centre and states, is very high and it is something which we have seen when oil prices fell, at that time rates were increased. Now that oil prices have gone up, we believe that there is a case for this to be discussed ...in a collaborative manner, because eventually we are doing this for one country," said Bajaj. The CII president also said the three contentious agri bills that were rolled back earlier "should be reviewed but in proper consultation and then taken forward".
Asked what impact the rollback of certain reforms in the past related to land acquisition and farm laws has on business sentiment in terms of policy stability especially on foreign investors eyeing India, Bajaj termed these as two different issues and said, with respect to foreign investors one should not do anything retrospectively.
"As far as farm laws and labour laws are concerned we believe that for this country to create its rightful position as a manufacturing hub for the world, we need modern labour laws. This requires the right kind of consultation and discussion with all stakeholders and we would at least support for the government to take this up in earnest, do it once more with the right consultations because we do believe it is important," he emphasized.
He argued that for the country's own food security, security of farmers, for ensuring streamlining of the number of steps from farm to fork, unnecessary intermediaries and their costs should be removed, and the agri bills also should be reviewed but in proper consultation and then taken forward.
On reports of High Networth Individuals (HNIs) leaving India, the CII president said, "We have to create over here an environment where India can prosper, Indian business can prosper. We don't then have to worry about a few people leaving".
He observed that people could have left due to many different reasons. "What we can do as a country is to create the right environment and as I said the current government has been doing that. To create the right environment where we attract business, we attract investment and that automatically should attract more and more people not only to not leave but to want to come to India," the CII president said.