P. Chidambaram's Budget 2014 gets India Inc thumbs up

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 17 2014, 22:46pm hrs
Budget 2014-15, PTerming the interim budget for 2014-15 fiscal as 'very balanced', the industry said that it was 'absolutely' up to the expectations.
Terming FM P. Chidambaram's interim budget for 2014-15 fiscal as "very balanced", India Inc today said that it was 'absolutely' up to the expectations.

"The budget is absolutely up to expectation. I mean (this) budget means it is an vote on account. So we were not expecting creativity. But we are very happy to see that the numbers he (the finance minister P. Chidambaram) has delivered on the larger ticket item has been stuck to what he has promised," Ficci President Sidharth Birla told reporters here.

Interim Budget 2014-15: Read full speech of P. Chidambaram

He further said that the common man will not be adversely affected by the announcements made during the budget.

"With regard to the duty relief given in the durables sector, how long will it work for that we will have to see," he said.

Sunil Sanghai, Head of Banking, India, HSBC described the interim budget as very balanced.

"Generally when you have a vote on account just before the election there is a perception that it could be very populist but as you would have seen it is very balanced," Sanghai said.

"Whatever relief we got that was in a segment which was required. Manufacturing segment, particularly, in the auto sector which actually needed support," he said.

According to JK Paper Managing Director Harsh Pati Singhania, "The good news is that we have seen fiscal deficit and CAD (Current Account Deficit) under check and the projections for the next year are even further down. So therefore it is a positive sign."

"The other area is that agriculture continues to be good and I think in a year when you are looking at elections the Finance Minister has been very balanced and not a sort of announcing largesses and therefore keeping the whole thing in control."

"Despite being low on expectations in an election year, Finance Minister P Chidambarams Interim Budget has given a pleasant surprise at least partly to the manufacturing sector which has been bleeding. The excise duty cut on automobiles and capital goods will provide a much-needed relief to these sectors," Assocham President Rana Kapoor said.

Kapoor said the industry would expect a much larger package from the new government to revive the manufacturing sector when a regular budget is presented some time in July.

Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said announcements related to automotive industry were need of the hour and it would create lakhs of direct and indirect jobs.

He said the Finance Minister has exceeded expectations of the people in general besides the trade and industry.

"He was less bothered about the vote bank and more about the growth. He has found time for addressing the most critical aspect of growth in the manufacturing sector.

"Excise duties have been brought down. He has definitely given boost to the domestic employment generation by encouraging manufacturing and he has given more than expected to the rural sector," Rawat added.

Sumit Goswami, CEO KeyPoint Technologies said, We welcome the announcement of restructuring the excise duties on mobile handsets to six percent for all categories. This move will surely encourage the domestic production of mobile handsets and will offer a greater boost to develop the domestic mobile capabilities.

We look towards this announcement as a positive policy measure as greater domestic production will create a positive demand for localized content, which will drive the local content generation on smart devices towards an optimistic future. The local content generation on smart devices will definitely receive a great impetus with this announcement as an expected reduction in mobile handset prices will lead to a greater penetration of mobile services into the interiors of the country thus leading to a greater demand of local language apps. As device UI is an integral part of the mobile technology of today, we expect that greater penetration of mobile devices in the country will drive a positive demand for localization and regional content.

"Excise duty is an add-on so it (passing of reduction in prices due to excise duty cut to consumers) should be immediate", Chairman of Godrej Group Adi Godrej told reporters.

To stimulate growth in capital goods and consumer durables, the Finance Minister announced a reduction in excise duty to 10 per cent from 12 per cent on a range of goods till June 30.

"I'm afraid that the 2 per cent excise reduction in capital goods may not see any great positive fallout till demand for capital goods moves up," Chairman of Feedback Infrastructure Services Vinayak Chatterjee said.

Meanwhile, Tirupur Exporters' Association (TEA) described as 'a positive measure' reduction in excise duty from 12 to 10 per cent for capital goods and said it has come at a time when there is a slowdown in investments of the sector.

TEA president A Shaktivel welcomed the increased budget allocation to Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) from Rs 1,956.16 crore to Rs 2,300 crore, an increase of Rs. 343.84 crore.

He urged the Finance minister to release the fund for clearing Duty Drawback Rate pending for the last two months, as export units have to meet out their original financial plan and proposal and ease financial stress.

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