While political parties expectedly slammed the UPA government's interim budget, dubbing it as being election-oriented, business lobbies generally welcomed the proposals relating to the reduction of wexcise duties on manufactured goods.
The BJP dismissed finance minister
But business associations including the
"The vision presented in the (interim) budget is very much in line with what we believe in," said
He welcomed the reduction in excise duty on sectors such as automobiles, capital goods and consumer electronics, as the move would help revive demand in these sectors. Gopalakrishnan also welcomed the fiscal figures outlined by Chidambaram. "It is clear that the government has stayed on the fiscal discipline roadmap and achieving a 4.6 per cent fiscal deficit is no small feat," he pointed out. "The fact that the deficit has been targeted at 4.1 per cent for the next fiscal sends a strong signal and should help confidence in the economy."
While this was the last budget of the UPA-II government, the finance minister refrained from announcing any large populist measures, added Birla. He said industry has welcomed the initiative of a ten-point charter outlining the vision for the future of the Indian economy.
"Many of the points mentioned such as need for fiscal consolidation; importance of foreign investments for financing CAD; creating a balance between price stability and growth; deepening financial sector reforms; intensifying efforts on infrastructure development; boosting manufacturing growth with zero taxing of exports and minimum tariff protection to encourage domestic value addition; containing subsidies; having planned urbanisation and pushing skill development have been highlighted by FICCI," he said. "While many of these points are aspirational, these are all achievable through concerted effort and a coordinated approach between the centre and the states."
Birla noted that the financial markets also received well deserved attention with announcements pertaining to revamping of the ADR / GDR scheme; liberalising the rupee-denominated corporate debt market; deepening and strengthening the currency derivatives market; creating one record for all financial assets of individuals; and enabling smoother clearing and settlement for international investors for investing in Indian bonds. "These measures will help in further broadening of the Indian financial market and efficient availability and utilisation of risk capital," added Birla.
He complimented Chidambaram for leaving the government treasury in sound shape and with the result that the overall macro picture of the Indian economy today looks far better than it was about eight months back.
"The external sector today is far more stable with exports picking up and the current account deficit capped at
A Nasscom spokesperson said that from the perspective of the IT-BPM sector, the interim budget helped to communicate the key messages of fiscal consolidation, focus on tax reforms, inclusive growth and thrust of skill development.
"While we appreciate the government's focus on reviving manufacturing, there needs to be continued thrust on promoting the services sector," he said. "We hope the final budget will acknowledge the contribution of the technology driven IT sector and make adequate provisions for support of the sector given the large innovation driven SME constituents, and its ability to create jobs across demographics."
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