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India Inc welcomes Union Budget, gives thumbs up to infra push
Last Updated : 01 Feb 2017 07:37:39 PM IST
(File photo)
(File photo)

Indian industry stakeholders have hailed the Union Budget 2017-18, especially the measures announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for infrastructure push, affordable housing and expansion of the BharatNet project.

Here is what India Inc said:

Pankaj Patel, President, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry:
This budget would tremendously strengthen the economic muscle of the country. It is directionally correct, fiscally prudent and strengthens the governance fabric of the nation. I think the biggest takeaway from this budget is the reform introduced in the area of political funding. The measures announced on electoral funding will help attack the root cause of corruption in India.

Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry:
Overall, the Budget builds positive sentiments among Indian industry and overseas investors that the government would remain on the path of fiscal prudence while taking all possible measures to boost growth. Reduced corporate income tax rates for medium and small enterprises bring cheer to the large majority of companies with turnover of less than Rs 50 crore, while stimulating employment and entrepreneurship.

Sunil Kanoria, President, Associated Chambers of Commerce of India:
Post-demonetisation, the rural landscape had come under stress, along with the SMEs and the informal sectors of the economy, and needed a boost. Credit commitments of Rs 10 lakh crore for the farm sector along with several initiatives for helping agri-produce to get better prices are the initiatives which would be a growth driver for the agricultural sector.

Gopal Jiwarajka, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry:
Government has provided a balanced budget to strengthen the economy from grass roots; tax benefits to small tax payers, MSMEs and infrastructure status to affordable housing are encouraging and would pave the way for a higher growth trajectory. Infra status to affordable housing would absorb semi-skilled and unskilled workforce in the housing and construction sector, generate employment opportunities and demand in the economy.

Vinita Bimbhet, President, FICCI Ladies Organisation:
Allocation of Rs 1,84,632 crore for women and kids, will help achieve the goal of poverty alleviation and provide adequate healthcare. Skilling youth and women have been taken as a priority area, which is truly essential for achieving the goals of sustainable development. Rs 500 crore allocation for setting up Mahila Shakti Kendra at village level, aimed at empowering women is commendable.

Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises:
The Budget aims to incentivise and promote 'Digital Economy', which is clean and efficient. By putting a cap of Rs 3 lakh on cash transactions, the Budget highlights the need to move towards digital transactions. Similarly, by limiting cash donations from individuals to political parties at Rs 2,000, the Finance Minister has signalled a clear intent to deal with one of the most controversial aspects of political funding.

William Foster, Vice President, Sovereign Risk Group, Moody's Investors Service:
The budget speech's emphasis on fiscal prudence indicates that continued commitment to gradual fiscal consolidation remains. This is consistent with the target of a deficit at 3.2 per cent of GDP this fiscal year, followed by 3 per cent.

Kumar Kandaswami, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India:
The allocation to infrastructure, railways, housing and defence for capital expenditure has the potential to substantially enhance manufacturing demand. The speed at which these allocations are converted into projects would be interesting to follow.

Girish Vanvari, Head of Tax, KPMG in India:
No change in capital gains tax regime for listed stocks and clarification on non-applicability of indirect transfer rules to FPIs (foreign portfolio investments) and AIFs (alternative investment funds) will be a big relief to the investors.

Atul Gupta, Head - Cyber Security, KPMG in India:
Establishing cyber and computer emergency response teams should support addressing cyber threat and also facilitate increased adoption of digital economy. However, this needs to be implemented effectively with participation from all stakeholders.

Rajan S. Mathews, Director General, Cellular Operators' Association of India:
This budget has made pro-people announcements in order to promote nation-wide telecom connectivity. Rural connectivity has been given the necessary thrust and it will be beneficial move for the telecom industry as well. Industry will pitch in with all its strength and fill necessary gaps.

K. Ravichandran, Group Head, Corporate Sector ratings, ICRA:
There are several favourable proposals for the oil and gas sector such as creation of two more strategic oil reserves projects, reduction in basic customs duty (BCD) on LNG from 5 per cent to 2.5 per cent and creation of an integrated oil public sector undertaking major.

Partha Iyengar, Vice President and Gartner Fellow, India :
The biggest positive is the continued focus on infrastructure (roads, railway, housing, tier-II airports) in general and rural infrastructure (affordable homes, rural electrification) in particular, including e-infrastructure with the increased allocation to BharatNet. This will allow commercial activity to expand to the rural segment in a much more efficient manner, if the aim of achieving the broadband connectivity targets by 2018 is actually met.

Kenny Ye, GM-Overseas Business, Alibaba Mobile Business Group:
While last year's (telecom) auctions removed spectrum scarcity in the country, expansion of BharatNet project will ensure high-speed broadband to 1.5 lakh gram panchayats via Wi-Fi. With increasing smartphone penetration and push for high-speed broadband connectivity in rural areas, a massive digital revolution is imminent in India.

Akshay Dhoot, Head, Technology and Innovation, Videocon:
We welcome initiatives that will give further boost to Make in India in order to make our country a hub of electronic and tech manufacturing. This has been taken care of with announcements like incentivising local electronic manufacturing up to Rs 745 crore by enhancing special policies like Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme and Electronic Development Fund. This move would definitely give more sops to domestic mobile handset makers.

Sivarama Krishnan, Leader- Cybersecurity, PwC India:
Certain announcements, such as plans to roll-out 20 lakh Aadhaar-based swipe machines, promoting BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money), which already has over 1.25 crore users, and digital systems for payments of government and defence employees highlight the need for strengthening cyber security in the government.

Vishal Malhotra, Tax Telecom Leader, EY India:
Extension of the period for claiming minimum alternate tax credit to 15 years from 10 year presently as well as extension of period for availing lower withholding rate of 5 per cent on external commercial borrowings and Masala Bonds, is expected to benefit the industry.

Sanjay Rishi, Regional President, American Express:
In my opinion, the initiatives announced today such as reduction of excise duty on manufacturing of payment devices and exemption of special additional duty on miniature PoS and m-PoS machines; roll out of 1 million new PoS terminals by banks; and setting-up of Payment Regulatory Board in RBI to regulate electronic payments, will further boost India's digital economy.

Getamber Anand, President, Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (CREDAI) National:
Long-term capital gains tax benefits on housing, which could be availed after three years has been brought down to two years. This is an extremely good news for real estate investors as they can book profits by paying a bare minimum income tax at the end of two years only on profits earned from sale of property.

Rakesh Tarway, Head of Research, Reliance Securities:
Government has presented a reasonably positive Budget, given the constraints, from equity markets perspective. No changes in capital gains for listed securities and concessions to FPIs will soothe market nerves. Adherence to fiscal deficit target of 3.2 per cent and roadmap for the same is good for sentiments.


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