Budget 2019

'Budget has provided necessary push to reforms'

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on February 29, 2016

Kolkata-based Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) today welcomed the Union Budget on several grounds.

The Budget, it felt, has provided the necessary push to reforms, and ICC feels, it will help the economy move steadily towards a double-digit growth phase.

Some of the positives it pointed out include sound fiscal consolidation measures like sticking to a path of aggressive fiscal consolidation.

The target for lower deficits will help curtail debt accumulation and allow increased outlays for infrastructure, agriculture, rural and socio-economic schemes.

"The lowering of corporate IT rate for companies not exceeding Rs. 5 crore turnover to 25 per cent plus surcharge will promote the growth of smaller enterprises and encourage entrepreneurship," the Chamber maintained.

Similarly, the service tax exemption for construction of houses less than 60 sq m along with exemption of real estate investment trusts from dividend distribution tax and stamp duties will in turn make them attractive to domestic and foreign investors.

Other welcome proposals are the decision to widen the duty drawback scheme to help exporters; improving the ease of doing business; introduction of the Aadhar Bill according statutory status to it and so on.

One of the other positives in the Budget has been the boost to infrastructure sector through increased allocation; fund raising by NHAI through bonds; proposed collaboration with state governments to rejuvenate regional airports and also develop 10 out of 25 non-functional airstrips.

"Opening up the road passenger sector, along with the earlier proposals, will improve connectivity thereby facilitating better internal movement of goods and services," ICC said.

The move to allow 100 per cent FDI through FIPB in marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India will not just boost food processing industry, but also encourage job creation, the Chamber pointed out.

The decision to introduce Bankruptcy & Insolvency Code, amendment of the RBI Act, and reorganisation of agricultural policy to double farmers income in five years are some of the other positives that ICC highlighted.

However, the negatives, the Kolkata-based industry body felt was the failure to increase the recap allocation for banks.

“No change in capital gains tax regime for listed stocks a positive for the stock exchange; an additional tax 10 per cent on dividends in excess of Rs 10 lakh (dividen income); and, an increase in STT is a dampener for the markets,” it said in its statement.

Published on February 29, 2016
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