The Union Budget 2016 continues to rightly focus on rural and infrastructure sector. The planned investment in these two critical sector will not only create jobs but also give impetus to demand generation and economic growth.
The government’s proposal to create e-market for our farmers through ‘Unified Agri Marketing platform’ is very bold and forward looking and will positively impact country’s farmers. We will continue to strengthen our Direct Farm programme to complement government vision to make a difference to the lives of our millions of farmers, says Krish Iyer Chairman, FICCI Retail & Internal Trade Committee and CEO & President Walmart India.
The continued focus on ease of doing business, as highlighted by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley augurs very well for the industry. Recognition of retail trade as the largest service sector employer in the country and proposed focus to simplify the regulations for retail sector is very laudable. The Retail sector in India is currently the hotbed of economic growth. The sector has made noteworthy progress over the last two decades, with rise in disposable earnings, shift in youth populous and an attitudinal shift in consumer preferences. India is a domestic consumption driven growth story and therefore this support & encouragement to the retail trade will surely further drive consumption, which in turn will help manufacturing sector and job creation.
The announcement by the finance minister to allow small & medium shops to open all seven days of the week is very encouraging. I also commend the government announcement to circulate a Model Shops and Establishments Bill, which can be further adopted by the state governments.
The decision by the government to allow up to 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) through FIPB in marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India is very progressive and will help in reducing wastage, helping farm diversification and encourage industry to produce locally within the country. This far reaching reform will benefit farmers, give impetus to food processing industry and create vast employment opportunities.
In addition maintaining fiscal discipline by restricting fiscal deficit to 3.5% for FY 2016-17 and commitment to ‘no retrospective taxes’ are commendable and these decisions will help control inflation and boost investor confidence respectively.
Overall this is a very good budget. Adherence to fiscal discipline, with emphasis on growth, development, increasing infrastructural & rural spending, and simplifying retail trade norms are key aspects of the budget.