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Bengal industries hope budget to revive economy, create jobs

Wednesday - February 1, 2017 10:40 pm , Category : BUDGET 2017

Kolkata: In view of reviving sagging economy, Bengal industries are betting big on the budgetary announcements as higher expenditure in infrastructure, focus in rural and small industries are expected to provide a growth impetus along with creating jobs.

"The budget proposals to increase spends in rural areas, infrastructure development, poverty alleviation as well as the agricultural sector should provide a growth impetus to the Indian economy and a pickup in consumption demand," said ITC Ltd Chairman Y.C. Deveshwar.

He also said push towards digitisation was indeed welcome as it would ensure a quantum jump in efficiency, enable mainstreaming of the informal economy as well as inclusive empowerment through technology and innovation.

The companies which have a strong presence in rural and agriculture sectors will be benefited more, as the government has increased its fund allocation for rural, agriculture and allied industry by around 24 percent year-on-year to Rs 1.87 lakh crore, said Calcutta Chamber of Commerce's President Dinesh Kumar Jain.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley allocated record spends for the rural sector, including MGNREGA, PMGSY (Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana), 100 percent rural electrification, Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana and also raised capital expenditure by 25.4 percent.

He accorded infrastructure status to affordable housing and allotted Rs 55,000 crore for Indian Railways. The capital expenditure for Railways is pegged at Rs. 1.31 lakh crores.

"It (the budget) aims to make the best use of the available resources to deliver the best possible results. In this regard, the decision to abolish plan and non-plan expenditure and to opt for a consolidated outcome budget is indeed a step in the right direction as it brings in higher degrees of accountability," said Srei Infrastructure Finance's Chairman and Managing Director Hemant Kanoria.

Providing a 5 percent corporate tax relief, by reducing the rate from 30 percent to 25 percent, to MSMEs with a turnover of less than Rs. 50 crore and also abolishing FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) to boost investor sentiment are also expected to yield benefits.

"Tax cut for the MSMEs with an annual turnover of Rs 50 crore and the emphasis on affordable housing will drive the growth engine while the abolition of FIPB and putting 90 percent of FDIs on the automatic route will go a long way for the ease of doing business," said Bandhan Bank's MD and CEO Chandra Shekher Ghosh.

"Listing for CPSEs, promotion of digital transactions through the Aadhar route and expectations of increased lendings by banks, agriculture credit push of Rs. 10 lakh crore to galvanize rural purchasing power, investments on youth and skills are the noticeable areas in the budget," said Bengal Chamber President Sutanu Ghosh.-IANS
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