In keeping with his earlier announcement of reducing corporate taxation rate to 25 per cent, the finance minister made the change for companies with turnover of upto Rs 250 crore, up from Rs 50 crore announced during his last year budget speech.
He said this would take care of almost 99 per cent of the companies and would have an impact of Rs 7,000 crore on government finances. Only about 250 companies would have a turnover above the cut-off level. An ID on lines of Aadhaar would also be set up for companies.
Jaitley also proposed to increase customs duty on mobile phones from 15 per cent to 20 per cent, on some of their parts and accessories to 15 per cent and on certain parts of TVs to 15 per cent. “This measure will promote creation of more jobs in the country,” he said.
The finance minister’s focus was on rural India and agriculture announcing a number of schemes and incentives.
Sandeep Jajodia, ASSOCHAM president
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has placed a huge emphasis on agriculture and rural India, allocating bulk of resources to interior landscape, while helping the middle class salaried employees along with relief to senior citizens, measures which would boost consumer demand and help revive economic growth, said ASSOCHAM president, Sandeep Jajodia.
“The budget is on expected lines and provides support to sections of the society, where it was needed the most. The FM and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi know how to put the money where the mouth is. The agri and rural landscape were in some kind of distress and provision of over Rs 14.34 lakh crore to be spent on rural infrastructure should also add to the employment generation especially in the farm sector,” said Jajodia.
“Relief to the salaried employees by way of Rs 40,000 per annum would leave more disposable income in the hands of the middle class and boost consumer demand,” added the ASSOCHAM president.
Kishore Biyani, Group CEO, Future Group
“The steps announced in the budget will help attract larger corporate investments in the sector and make it more attractive for players like us to establish stronger linkages between the farmers of rural India and consumers of urban India. India is home to almost every climatic zones the world has, and therefore has the ability to produce almost every food produce. Investments in processing this produce will go a long way in helping more than half of the country’s population earn more for the hardwork they put in their fields.
The Union Budget does well to bring back the focus on what could be the two largest drivers of India’s economic transformation for the next couple of years – the agriculture and food processing industry and the growth of the MSME sector, that includes large employment generators like textile, footwear and leather industry.
Our experience has shown that not only is there a huge demand for such products in urban India, but this focus on value addition can bring in significant increase in farmer’s income.”
Krish Iyer, President & CEO, Walmart India
“I must compliment Prime Minister Modi and Finance Minister Jaitley for intense focus on fiscal prudence in this budget. There is a huge focus in this ‘New Bharat’ Budget on inclusive growth and farm sector and despite that fiscal deficit targets have not been compromised.”
“Another pathbreaking focus in this budget is on Healthcare with the announcement of a Flagship National Health Protection Scheme, providing annual health insurance cover of â‚¹5 lakh per family supporting more than 10 crore vulnerable families.”
Varun Berry, Managing Director, Britannia Industries
The budget is focused on infrastructure and rural development and large scale employment generation. This provides a springboard to spur consumption and lead to faster growths across sectors.
While overall expenditure is projected to grow at 10 per cent during the year, development related spending is expected to grow faster at 13-14 per cent with spends on affordable housing growing at 30 per cent and on railways at 22 per cent. These spends could generate large scale employment which could thereby lead to a healthy and sustained consumer economy.