Nirmala Sitharaman announces slew of measures to revive growth, enhanced surcharge on FPI withdrawn

New Delhi: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of measures to revive growth and aid ease of business in the backdrop of global economic slowdown. The measures were part of the continuing reforms aimed to improve the business environment, Sitharaman said at a press conference in Delhi.

Sitharaman said the banks have decided to pass on any rate cut in the Repo rate to the borrowers to address grievances of customers that banks do not pass on the benefits of rate cuts by the central bank.

Giving in to the demands of overseas investors, Sitharaman announced a rollback of enhanced surcharge on foreign portfolio investors levied in the Budget.

Surcharge on long and short term capital gains arising from transfer of equity shares has been withdrawn, she said. “The pre-Budget position is restored,” the minister said. It is being done to encourage investment in the capital market, the finance minister said.

Following the increase in surcharge in the Budget, the effective income tax rate for individuals with taxable income of Rs 2-5 crore went up to 39 per cent from 35.88 per cent and for those above Rs 5 crore to 42.7 per cent.

Earlier this month, capital market participants and foreign institutional investors presented a charter of demands to Sitharaman, which included rollback of surcharge on FPIs and review of dividend distribution tax.

Sitharaman further said that to mitigate genuine difficulties of start-ups and their investors, government has decided to withdraw angel tax provisions for them.

A dedicated cell under a member of CBDT too will be set up for addressing the problems of start-ups.