NEW DELHI (INDIA): The Union Finance Minister of India Arun Jaitley said that in the First Half of the Current Financial Year 2016-17, the Indian Economy has achieved robust growth rate despite volatility and uncertainty in global economy.nnHe said that this was made possible by a slew of policy measures undertaken by the present Government including enhanced public investment, kick starting stalled projects, improving the status of financial inclusion significantly among others.nnThe Finance Minister aitley was making the Opening Remarks during his Fourth Pre-Budget Consultative Meeting with the representatives of Indian Trade and Industry Associtions/Groups here today.nnThe Union Finance Minister has asked the representatives of Business and Trade Sector to increase the private sector spending especially in infrastructure sector. He said that the Government has taken many steps to improve governance by bringing in transparency and efficiency through systematic changes.nnJaitley said that the present Government has given greater thrust on fiscal federalism and improving business environment through reforms in policies and regulation among others.nnHe said that strong macro and micro economic indicators including fiscal fundamentals and follow of fiscal discipline present sound prospects for the Indian economy in future as well.nnVarious suggestions were received during the aforesaid Consultative Meeting. Major recommendations include h reduction in Corporate Tax and withdrawal of tax incentives which will result in higher collections due to better compliance and will make India an attractive investment destination. Other suggestions include complete elimination or a major reduction in Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) and higher public investment in infrastructure and social sector.nnOther suggestions include higher investment in irrigation and rural infrastructure sector as this will increase the spending capacity of the rural people which in turn will create demand for various items and increased economic activity. Other suggestions included focus on skill development by focussing more resources on training of trainers? Programmes.nnOther suggestions include tax concession to both individual tax payer and Corporate Sector. Minimum exemption limit in case of Personal Income Tax be raised to Rs.5 lakh. After demonetisation, since banks will have lot of funds, therefore, interest rate be reduced for manufacturing and other sectors especially for micro, small and medium enterprises.nnOther Suggestions include that States levy heavy taxes on industry especially manufacturing sector mainly in higher energy/power charges which make them uncompetitive. Another suggestion was made to make instrument of cheque more stronger especially after demonetisation by blocking the amount of cheque in the drawer?s account and making amendments in Sec 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act for heavy penalty in case of bouncing of cheques. Other suggestions include measures be taken to revive private sector investment especially in infrastructure sector. Suggestion was made to give infrastructure status to Broadcasting Sector. Another suggestion was to give incentives to promote women entrepreneurs.nnAlong with the Finance Minister Shri Jaitley, the Pre-Budget Consultative Meeting with the representatives of Indian Industry and Trade Groups was also attended among others by Ashok Lavasa, Finance Secretary, Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, DEA, Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Revenue Secretary, Anjuly Chib Duggal, Secretary, Financial Services, Rita A Teotia, Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, DIPP and Dr. Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser (CEA).nnThe representatives of the Indian Trade and Industry Associations/Groups present during the meeting included Dr. Naushad Forbes, President, CII, Sunil Kanoria, President, ASSOCHAM, Harshavardhan Neotia, President, FICCI, B.N.Kalyani, Bharat Forge, Dr. Rajani Aggarwal, Federation of Indian Women Entrepreneurs (FIWE), Vipul Shah, Former Chairman, Gems &Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Shri S.C. Ralhan, President, FIEO, G.M.Rao, Chairman & MD, GMR Infra, Shashi Ruia, Essar Group, Rajan Bharti Mittal, Vice-Chairman, Bharati Enterprises, Mukesh Mohan Gupta, CIMSME, Shri Satish Pai, President, AAI&CMD,NALCO, Harish Ahuja, MD, Shahi Exportys Pvt.Ltd., Harry Dhaul, DG,IPPAI, Ashish Gupta, Consulting CEO, Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH),P.K. Shah, Chairman, EEPC India, R.K.Sharma, Secretary General, FIMI, Sunil R Zode, Chairman, ICCAA, Raja M.Shanmugham,Tripur Exporters Association, Om Prakash Mittal, Laghu Udyog Bharti, R.Ganpati,SICCI, Shailendra Chuksey,Cement Manufacturers?Association, Sangam Kurade, President, Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME), and Girish Srivastava, Secretary General, IBF among others.