Budget gives farm, infra push to growth: ASSOCHAM

Saturday, February 01, 2020

New Delhi, February 1, 2020
: Describing the Union Budget for 2020-21 as Finance Minister Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman's prudent approach to revive growth, ASSOCHAM today said it is focussed on rural spend along with investment on infrastructure like roads, ports and railways.
 
Within the budgetary constraints, the Finance Minister is giving an increased thrust to the agriculture with an objective to double farm income by 2022. However, the industry was expecting the government to bet higher on consumption. While Rs 40,000 crore relief to the taxpayers should give a stimulus to demand, there were expectations of bigger tax cuts.
 
As for the directional priorities are concerned, the Budget is on course, with focus on technology-driven Start Ups, small and medium entrepreneurs along with ambitious infrastructure programme of Rs 100 lakh crore to take the Indian economy to USD 5 trillion trajectory.
 
"Remaining within the fiscal prudence of fiscal deficit of 3.5 per cent of GDP despite revenue constraints, the Budget has reposed confidence in revival of economic growth and trust in the wealth creators. The government, through huge spending on transport infrastructure, agriculture and allied sectors along with taking bold measures for the MSMEs wants to stay at the forefront of reviving growth. It is clear that the government wants to fire equally on rural spend and investment through a mix of fiscal and policy measures," ASSOCHAM President Mr Niranjan Hiranandani said.
 
Rs 40,000 crore revenue foregone for extending relief to the taxpayers along with increasing the insurance cover for bank deposits to Rs 5 lakh would be confidence-building measures . However, taxpayers' expectations for tax slabs were on the higher side.
 
He said, there are several notable measures such as abolition of Dividend Distribution Tax, raising the audit limit for MSMEs to Rs five crore, putting Tax-payers' Charter in the statute  which should boost the confidence of the financial markets and the small businesses. Besides, focus on education providing an outlay of Rs 99,300 crore and another Rs 3000 crore for skill development would add to the India story of demographic dividend. The healthcare sector too has been given a priority with a positive bias towards development of technology and medical devices within the country.
 
There would also be accretion to the growth story of an aspirational India through a huge focus on the cutting -edge technologies like Quantum Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and making use of these technologies for reaching out the benefits of governance to the common man.
 
Mr Hiranandani said India's farm economy is being given a modern push with emphasis on giving the benefits of transport and technology to the farmers for realisation of better prices for the produce. The schemes like 'Kissan Rail' and Kissan Udaan with involvement of the private sector would go a long way in this direction. Also, initiatives like incentives for states to adopt model laws and contract farming would make Indian farming modern and remunerative for the growers. Focus on horticulture would also go a long way in doubling farm income by 2022.
 
The ASSOCHAM Mr Hiranandani said there are measures for attracting foreign investment in the priority and infrastructure sectors which should combine well with consumption stimulus to push growth.
 
For the housing, the focus on affordable housing and relief to the NBFCs and HFCs is laudable.
 
Overall, the Budget would result in growth revival and consumer confidence even as signs of the bottoming out of the GDP are visible, the ASSOCHAM said.
 
About ASSOCHAM:
ASSOCHAM initiated its endeavour of value creation for Indian industry in 1920. It was established by promoter Chambers, representing all regions of India. Having in its fold over 400 Chambers and Trade Associations, and serving over 4.5 lakh members across India. ASSOCHAM has emerged as the fountainhead of Knowledge for Indian industry, which is all set to redefine the dynamics of growth and development in the Knowledge Based Economy. More information available on www.assocham.org
 
 
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