While welcoming the Union Budget 2018-19, Anil Khaitan, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that the government has provided a budget for all. The focus on agriculture, rural economy, health, infrastructure and MSMEs is highly appreciable.
We are pleased to know that India is now a US$2.5 trillion economy and we are firmly on the path to achieve 8% plus growth soon, said Khaitan.
Minimum Support Price (MSP) for kharif crops at 1.5 times cost of produce along with cluster-model approach for agricultural production would increase farm productivity and enhance farmers’ incomes in the coming times, said Khaitan.
Doubling the allocation in food processing from Rs. 715 crore to Rs. 1400 crore would boost food processing; specialised agro-processing and financial institutions, he said.
Cultivation of horticulture crops in clusters will boost production and marketing. Further, Agri-market Development Fund with a corpus of Rs. 20 billion for developing agricultural markets would go a long way to help farmers, he added.
The extension of Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) to fisheries, animal husbandry is appreciable, said Khaitan.
The one lakh gram panchayats have been connected to high speed broadband and allocated Rs. 10,000 crore to set up 5 lakh Wi-Fi hotspots to provide broadband access to 5 crore rural citizens would help a great deal in making India a digital economy, added Khaitan.
The eight crore free gas connections to women under UJJWALA and 4 crore electricity connections to the poor under Saubhagya Yojana is a remarkable step in the inclusive development of the country, said Anil Khaitan.
Rs. 14 lakh crore for enhancing rural livelihood is a great step for the rural development and upliftment in the standards of living of rural population, he said.
In addition, the allocation of Rs. 16,000 crore for electricity connection to poor families is a significant step for the development of rural areas, he added.
The 500 million beneficiaries of government healthcare schemes is highly inspiring, said Khaitan.
Flagship National Healthcare Protection Scheme will have 50 crore beneficiaries. The Centre will give up to Rs. 5 lakh per family per year which will include secondary and tertiary healthcare is a historic step towards the development of inclusive health in India, said Anil Khaitan.
Scheme for revitalising school infrastructure with an allocation of Rs. one lakh crore over four years would enhance the quality of education in the country, said Khaitan.
The corporate tax rate has been reduced to 25 per cent for MSMEs which is highly appreciable as it was the need of the hour, said Khaitan.
The Finance Minister has proposed to extend 25 per cent corporate tax rate to companies with revenue up to Rs 250 crore which is inspiring as it was much awaited by all industry stakeholders, he added.
Focus on ease of doing business to ease of living for the poor and middle class is encouraging, said Khaitan.
Target MUDRA loans for Rs. 3 lakh crore in the next financial year would go a long way to create self employment opportunities in the country, he said.
The allocation of Rs. 7,148 crore to textile sector will facilitate growth of the sector create immense employment opportunities in the coming times, he said.
The rise in allocation of Rs. 1.38 lakh crore in FY19 from Rs. 1.22 lakh crore for government health and education programmes will facilitate socio-economic development in the country, said Anil Khaitan.
The FY19 disinvestment target is set at Rs. 80,000 crore while the FY18 disinvestment estimate is revised to Rs. 1 lakh crore is inspiring as it will increase the non-tax revenue of the government, said Khaitan.
The increase in infrastructure outlay from Rs. 4.94 lakh crore to almost Rs. 6 lakh crore in FY19 would go a long way to improve infrastructure development in the economy, said Anil Khaitan.
The government is committed to 3.3 per cent fiscal deficit for FY19 onwards is encouraging amidst the talks of significant fiscal slippages, he said.
The Finance Minister has proposed to allow 100 per cent tax deduction to companies registered as farmer-producer companies with a turnover of Rs. 100 crore, he said.
However, long-term capital gains tax of 10 per cent for over Rs 1 lakh investments should have been avoided as economy is moving from physical assets accumulation to financial assets.