The Finance Minister has presented a pragmatic, all pervasive and forward looking budget in the face of depressing macro-economic outlook of the economy. He has sought to rejuvenate agriculture by setting up Farmer Markets, raising agricultural credit at lower interest, setting up Agri-Universities and strengthening NABARD for re-financing the support measures. The Finance Minister has also provided a slew of incentives to revitalise industry and manufacturing sector by reducing the limit of investment to 25 crore for 15 p.c. investment allowance, reviving investor interest in SEZ, increasing investment on National Highways etc., says Shri Sanjay Agarwal, President, MCC Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Shri Agarwal has also welcomed the focus on strengthening the banking system, issuing licenses for small banks which cater to the SMEs, linking MNREGA to agricultural projects for productive purposes, skill and entrepreneurship development, and accelerated growth of NE Region. He has added that lower rates of Custom Duty on industries like Chemicals and Petro-chemicals, Electronics and Computers, Solar power, Ship breaking etc. would accelerate the growth of these industries.
Shri Agarwal however, feels that raising PPF limit on investment u/s. 80C by 0.5 lac is not adequate to boost up savings and investment which have dropped by 7 p.c. over recent years. While the fiscal deficit of 4.1 p.c. and GDP growth target of 5.4 – 5.9 p.c. are encouraging, it is not clear how they can be achieved in the remaining three quarters of the fiscal.