Budget for all: Focus on agriculture, rural economy, inclusive health,infrastructure and MSMEs encouraging: PHD Chamber

Budget for all: Focus on agriculture, rural economy, inclusive health,infrastructure and MSMEs encouraging: PHD Chamber

- in Analysis, Opinion, Rural Economy
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While welcoming the Union Budget 2018-19, Anil Khaitan, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that the government has provided a budget for all. The focus on agriculture, rural economy, health, infrastructure and MSMEs is highly appreciable. It is an excellent well rounded budget which will create demand and employment along with investments in the economy. We are pleased to know that India is now a US$2.5 trillion economy and we are firmly on path to achieve 8% plus growth soon.

The corporate tax rate has been reduced to 25% for MSMEs which is highly appreciable as it was the need of the hour.The Finance Minister has proposed to extend 25% 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.

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.Doubling the allocation in food processing from Rs. 715 crore to Rs. 1400 crore would boost food processing; specialized 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.The extension of Kisan Credit Cards to fisheries, animal husbandry is appreciable.

8 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.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.500 million beneficiaries of government health care schemes is highly inspiring.

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.

Scheme for revitalizing school infrastructure with an allocation of Rs. 1 lakh crore over four years would enhance the quality of education in the country. 1 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.

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.The allocation of Rs. 7148 crore to textile sector will facilitate growth of tge sector create immense employment opportunities in the coming times.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.

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.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.The government is committed to 3.3% fiscal deficit for FY19 onwards is encouraging amidst the talks of significant fiscal slippages.

The Finance Minister has proposed to allow 100% 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% for over Rs 1 lakh investments should have been avoided as economy is moving from physical assets accumulation to financial assets.

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