Amid intense expectations, the finance minister has presented a Budget that addresses crucial areas of the economy and plans for building capacities as well as capabilities. The pursuit of growth aimed at double digits in the near future puts India firmly on the path of high growth.
What is praiseworthy is that pursuit of growth is unfettered by the measures for fiscal consolidation — a sine-qua-non for sustainable growth.
It is heartening that infrastructure sector initiatives, including those in rural areas — which spur domestic demand as well as ease supply side constraints — have been the thrust area in this Budget.
An increase of investment of R70,000 crore in 2015-16 over 2014-15 will see a boost in demand for construction material, such as steel and cement, which have witnessed subdued growth on account of sluggish global as well as domestic market conditions in recent times.
Building of six crore houses in rural and urban areas, setting up of five ultra mega power projects and announcement of similar mega scale projects for roads, rails and ports would also provide a filip to the economy. Similarly, national investment and infrastructure funds will help ease fund flow for the infrastructure sector. For the Indian steel industry, the thrust on infrastructure is most welcome. These measures will invigorate growth in steel consumption in the coming years.
Another initiative we are enthused about is the National Skill Mission, which is the need of the hour for both the industry and youth. ‘Make in India’ has got a boost by a slew of measures aimed at improving the ease of doing business. Small and medium industry – a major employment generator for the economy – has been aided to participate in the nation’s development in accordance with its potential. Measures such as Mudra Bank, technological facilitation agencies etc, are likely to foster entrepreneurial spirit and see emergence of numerous start-ups.
A low and stable corporate tax regime by bringing corporate income tax down from 30% to 25% will improve business sentiment and rejuvenate the corporate sector. The issue of ‘ease of doing businesses’ has been addressed by introduction of measures such as procurement law, public contract dispute resolution bill, regulatory reform law, etc. The announcement on the new bankruptcy code to replace BIFR and SICA are reform measures which were much awaited.
By CS Verma