Indian industry on Friday generally welcomed Budget 2003-04, saying the proposals were "growth-oriented".
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) director-general, Tarun Das said: "It is a great Budget and a Budget for growth of Indian economy. It has outlined new strategies for growth with reduction of excise duty."
The provisions in the Budget would increase the purchasing power of the consumers, bringing them back to the market which would be very good for the Indian economy and industry, in particular, said Das.
CII president Ashok Soota termed the Budget as pragmatic and said it would stimulate demand facilitating growth.
"Even though the fiscal deficit continued to remain an area of concern, the Finance Minister has accepted Kelkar recommendations for simplification of tax procedures," Soota added.
Hailing the Budget as "historic", FICCI said it would provide boost to textiles, infrastructure and pharma sectors and generate employment.
FICCI president, AC Muthaiah said: "the budget is well concieved and would provide major boost to different sectors". The Budget is progressive and growth-oriented, focussed on health sector and reduction in excise duty will create more demand, he said.
Muthaiah, however, said some areas in agriculture sector could have been touched upon.
BILT vice-chairman and managing director, Gautam Thapar: "The Budget can be described as forward looking and oriented to long-term growth of the economy. Key points that are positive from the economic point of view are focus on infrastructure, a positive move towards fiscal consolidation, debt and equity market restructuring and removal of long term capital gains tax and dividend tax."
Bharti group's Rajan Mittal said telecom being a part of the infrastructure would benefit from the Budget and the Government's decision of hiking the FDI in the sector would help in bringing investment in the telecom sector.
Mahindra & Mahindra chief, Anand Mahindra said the prices of cars and other motor vehicles should come down and the consumer stands to benefit from the Budget announcements.
However, Hero group CEO, Sunil Munjal pointed out the Finance Minister was not clear about the actual phasing out of central sales tax and the utilisation of National Calamity Fund.
Dabur India CEO, Sunil Duggal says: "The budget does not fundamentally alter the existing tax regime for the FMCG sector. However the emphasis on infrastructure buildup and tax administration reform is welcome." Imposition of VAT is a positive step, he adds.
Morgan Stanley managing director, Ruchir Sharma described the Budget as marginally disappointing as "it has not provided for any steps to overcome the impact of the global economic slowdown."