Indian Merchants’ Chamber sees a Budget of continuity

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

The Budget had an underlying stress on employment generation.

Indian Merchants’ Chamber has extended a cautious welcome to the Union Budget proposals. In a press statement issued in the wake of announcement of the Budget today, the IMC President, Prabodh Thakker said that the Finance Minister did not deviate from the path of his predecessors just to prove he was different. He acknowledged all their positive aspects and added to them to the extent possible. There was a discernable – and welcome – shift from a Government control model to a PPP model. This signals the genuineness of the Government in making the private sector an equal partner in the development process of the nation.
 
The Budget had an underlying stress on employment generation. It was proactive and attempted its best to reactivate the currently sluggish situation with a special emphasis on the aam aadmi.
 
It was telling that the FM recognized that agricultural revival is imperative to the picking up of the economy. Due to the high extent of interlinkages, unless agriculture revives neither will manufacturing, and many other vital sectors of the economy. The close relation that agriculture has with MNREGA will also be positively exploited.
 
It is heartening to note that the restructuring of FCI will be taken up as a priority and the Government is committed to reforms in the vitally important Food Sector. The increase of the composite cap of FDI to 49% in the defence and insurance sector is a welcome step.
 
As far as eliminating retrospective amendments to the law are concerned, it is disappointing that no concrete steps were taken. There was, also, a marked silence in the vital area of subsidy reduction. There were a fair amount of incentives for development of the infrastructure sector. Even though there was no reduction in tax rates, it is heartening that the slabs were raised.
 
The FM’s focus on developing smart cities and urban infrastructure is a positive step but it will need to be backed up by adequate action on the implementation front. The incentives given to clean and green energy to aid environmental protection was another distinct positive in this budget.
 
If India needs to revert to a double digit growth trajectory, this budget is certainly a good starting point. If implemented effectively, it will go a long way in converting the economy into a super power in the next five years.

 

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