The Budget is promising as well as directional and provides us a broad road map for the economy and industrial growth in specific. Also, it’s pro-investment and pro-infrastructure, with a potential to uplift the economy.
The highlight of the Union Budget is the boost given to the infrastructure sector, keeping in line with its development agenda. The most needed push in the infrastructure sector clearly reflects in the total allocation of R2.21 lakh crore.
The thrust on infrastructure paints a bright scenario for the manufacturing sector and conducive for the growth of the steel industry in particular. The target of 10,000 km of national highway and up-gradation of 50,000 km of state highways, will certainly pave way for a demand-led growth.
This is a momentous budget, particularly from the skill development point of view. The headline for us is the government’s plans to skill 1 crore youth under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana in next three years.
The intention of the government to coordinate efforts under the Make in India mission and the planned National Skill Development Mission, is a great idea since we will need very large number of highly qualified skilled manpower to realise the PM’s vision to make India a global manufacturing powerhouse. For the same, allocation of INR 1700 crores to set up 1500 multi-skill development centres, is a welcome move
The agriculture sector contributes to around 18% of India’s GDP that caters to over 50% of dependent population.
This budget has attempted to address the concerns with an allocation of R35,984 crore for the farmer’s welfare. A fund worth R20,000 crore has been dedicated to build irrigation facilities. These ambitious measures will certainly aid government’s aim to double the farmer’s income by 2022 — a definite step to augment the rural economy.
The finance minister, Arun Jaitley, has set the direction for a balanced and inclusive growth emphasizing on Innovation, as research and development (R&D) is the key driver in providing thrust to economic growth. The introduction of a special patent regime with 10 per cent tax of income for indigenous exploitation and registration of patents in India, will supplement to the cause.
Overall, it is a pragmatic and growth-oriented Budget with concrete steps for containing fiscal deficit at a realistic target of 3.5% for 2016-17.
By Vinod Nowal, Dy Managing Director, JSW Steel Ltd