The Budget is firmly growth-oriented and has various positives for the steel industry. The government's continued thrust on development of infrastructure and manufacturing will help steel demand in the country to grow. Besides, higher support for the housing sector is a step in the positive direction. Higher export duty on iron ore has been a long-pending demand of the steel industry and the Budget has taken care of the issue by increasing the export duty to 20%. This should ensure higher availability of iron ore for the Indian steel industry. Again, withdrawal of export duty on pellets should encourage installation of pellet plants by mining companies. More pellet plants in the country will also benefit the steel industry. Further, reduction in surcharge on income tax from 7.5% to 5% will have a positive impact on domestic companies, making available disposable surplus for investment. The proposed Constitutional Amendment Bill on GST is also a welcome development.
MD & JV Partner, McDonald’s India (North & East)
Govt keen to consolidate the right steps already taken
This is a Budget that focuses on the economic nuts and bolts. A strong demand continues to exist in our economy and the announcements made by the minister in context of strengthening the farm sector and cold chain infrastructure are all indicative of the government's resolve to stabilise the supply side. It is a good thought that, hopefully, will control inflation in the medium to long term.
Since there are no populist announcements and as is evident that revenues earned are not being thrown away, you get an indication that the government is keen to consolidate the right steps that have already been taken in the past.
Though this would have been a great opportunity to make strong policy announcements towards attracting higher FII into the country, since the focus is on nuts and bolts, it is still a step in the right direction. I feel increasing the allocation for the farmers, and rewarding them for good credit performance are positive steps to achieve inclusive growth goals, which would ultimately benefit our overall economy.