The US-India Business Council (USIBC) expressed its bullish concerns over Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget 2016 presented in the Parliament. The council believes that the budget is an accurate path to economic growth in a period of global uncertainty.
Budget 2016 consolidates the Government’s pro-growth agenda through economic liberalization, while remaining committed to bringing in long-term investment and job opportunities in areas such as agriculture, infrastructure development and clean energy.
In addition, the Council applauds the Government’s continued efforts to create a stable and certain tax environment to encourage enterprise and ease of doing business.
A number of recommendations by the Easwar Committee and the Shome Committees that aim to simplify the Income Tax Act and administration of tax policy were addressed in the budget. USIBC is also pleased to see that the budget supports the removal of any retroactive taxation.
USIBC President, Dr. Mukesh Aghi said, “It is evident that the Government of India is leaving no stone unturned to build on to create an investment climate that is favorable to improving India’s ranking in the ease of doing business index. Tax reforms presented in this budget are unprecedented, and lay the road map to create an attractive environment for foreign investors.”
“US companies are still eager for the implementation of GST that has the potential to be a game-changer for the economy. This is also an inclusive budget- one that creates opportunities for increasing domestic demand,” Aghi added.
He further added, “In a recent USIBC survey, approximately 20 percent of our member companies confirmed that they have already invested over USD 15 billion in India since Prime Minister Modi assumed office.”
In 2016-17, we expect an additional USD 27 billion to be invested by at least 52 US companies in India. We are certain that with this path of reforms, these numbers are achievable.
On the implications of the budget on specific sectors of the economy, Dr. Aghi said, “Industry is pleased to see the Government’s efforts to encourage investment in irrigation and cold chain. USIBC believes a strong irrigation system and a robust cold chain is crucial to real growth in the agriculture sector. We are also happy to see greater investment in promoting soil health and the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna.”
The Council is also buoyed by expansions in infrastructure development particularly the roads and railways that can attract investment from both domestic and foreign investors.
“Provisions for credit-rating systems for infrastructure projects, proposals to allow for renegotiation of contracts and measures for dispute resolution create prospects for long-terms investments in the country,” added Dr. Aghi.