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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014
Corporates hail budget focus on growth, fiscal consolidation
PTI
Mumbai, February 28, 2013
First Published: 21:45 IST(28/2/2013)
Last Updated: 21:54 IST(28/2/2013)

India Inc broadly welcomed the absence of any harsh moves in the budget presented by finance minister P Chidambaram on Thursday and termed it as "balanced" and "purposeful" but maintained a lot more could have been done.

"It's a sigh of relief. He could have been harsher on tax and the populist schemes would have been much more... My worry in an election year was that he will throw out lot more doles," M&M non-executive director Arun Nanda said in Mumbai.

TCS chief executive N Chandrasekaran welcomed the clarity on taxation, saying "rules regarding development centres and safe harbor rules are very welcome".

"The Budget has balanced near-term priorities and long term growth drivers," ICICI Bank managing director and chief executive Chanda Kochhar said and welcomed the commitment shown towards fiscal consolidation.

Calling the budget "very purposeful", Tata Chemicals MD R Mukundan said it has addressed all the necessary issues, including some on taxation like the GST.

Asked how an investor will look at the country after Chidambaram's comments on retrospective taxation, Mukundan said, "It is very important that he started with a commitment with an attempt to deliver on the ground and has spelt out what is the mechanism of delivery. At the end of the day, all of us have to legitimately pay the tax dues to government."

"The positive in the Budget is that no negatives have come in," Ramesh Chandak, managing director of EPC major KEC International, said.

He, however, gave a long list of unmet expectations like announcements or clarity on upping the electricity generation capacity, tackling transmission and distribution issues, land acquisition and the ironing out issues on the environment clearances front.

In what can come as a surprise, the industry captains were not upset over the proposal for extra surcharges for individuals and companies whose incomes are above a threshold.

"During periods of stress, some of the people who have greater means will have to pay more and that is a welcome step," Mukundan said.

Chidambaram's other moves which won appreciation from the industry include the move to get donations to incubators inside academic institutions under the corporate social responsibility spends.

Mastek founder Ashank Desai said the support to the incubators and encouragement to angel investors will help the IT sector. He, however, sounded concerned that there were no announcements on e-governance or higher education aspects.

Aptech MD Ninad Karpe said the Budget is "high on intention but low on delivery", sounding sceptical of the repeated mentions on skills development and suggesting that meeting the target would be an uphill task.

Tata Capital chief financial officer Govind Shankarnarayan welcomed the initiatives on financial sector, saying announcements like infra debt fund, factoring, SMEs indicate that a lot of attention has been paid to detail.

Industry body Ficci welcomed the investment and demand stimulating measures for manufacturing sector.

"We welcome the investment and demand stimulating measures in manufacturing, especially the investment allowance for two years, purchase of buses under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and some positive action on industrial corridors," Ficci's Manufacturing and SME Committee Chairman Sanjay Bhatia said in a statement.

The finance minister has provided support to employment intensive sectors like textiles, leather and SME, he said, adding that such measures will ensure inclusive growth.

Vineet Nayyar, chairman, Mahindra Satyam, said there is a sense of stability in taxation and a focus on bringing in initiatives to promote skill development.

"The Budget is balanced with a control on the deficit. I see that there is a sense of stability in taxation and a focus on bringing in initiatives to promote skill development and learning programs that facilitate employment in skilled role. Finance minister?s steps towards resolving bottlenecks in infrastructure and factors effecting economy is a welcome step," Nayyar said in a statement in Hyderabad.

Saumen Chakraborty, chief financial officer, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, said though there is no major change for the pharmaceutical sector, under the current circumstances, the Budget is balanced and focuses on inclusive development.

Increased allocation of plan expenditure on education, rural development, agriculture, infrastructure etc provides the much needed impetus to these sectors, Chakraborty said.

According to Chakraborty, new initiatives in the areas of women welfare, self help groups and MSME would go a long way in promoting socio-economic development and restricting fiscal deficit to below 5 in next year would be crucial for the Indian economy.

CII Andhra Pradesh chapter described the Budget as "progressive" though it misses the industry body's suggestion to bring more people into tax net.

Suchitra Ella, chairperson, CII AP said given the current economic conditions around the world the Budget will take the country forward.

"Keeping in mind the current economic situation both national and international level we at CII concluded that this is a progressive Budget and hopefully it will take the country forward in many of the areas that have been envisaged or focused on," Ella told reporters in Hyderabad.

Mohan Reddy disapproved the move to impose 10% surcharge on persons (other than companies) whose taxable income exceeds Rs. 1 crore.

"The disappointing issue is selectively some people were brought under extra tax net. We feel that it not good practice. We, from CII, right from the beginning are suggesting that more people should be brought in to tax gambit. More people should pay taxes," Reddy said.

Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) President Subodh Kumar Agrawal said the Budget aims to accelerate growth through sustainable development and inclusive growth.

"The tax proposals are also in tandem with this overall aim of the budget, proposed to be achieved by focusing on key areas, such as bringing in stability in tax regime, ensuring a non-adversarial tax administration, curbing tax evasion and increasing voluntary compliance," he said in a statement.

According to him, significant thrust has been placed on non-adversarial tax administration.

"The proposal to provide for MRP based valuation in respect of branded medicaments of non-allopathy systems of medicine, will bring more clarity in law and reduce disputes.

However, non-rationalisation of the complex and restrictive credit provisions is a major disappointment," he noted.

Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman A Sakthivel said the Budget proposals will help the industry to revive which has been affected due to economic slowdown.

Sharing similar views, Confederation of Indian textiles Industry (CITI) chairman SV Arumugam said there have been signs of recovery in the industry and some of the positive features of the Budget would help this process further.

Restoring the optional excise regime for branded garments and made-ups is the most positive factor in this Budget, he said.

S Dinakaran chairman of the Southern India Mills' Association (SIMA) too said that the government has addressed various issues related with the sector which would make the industry more attractive.

Allocation of Rs. 2,400 crore for textile upgradation and continuation of TUF scheme and zero duty for cotton are major positives for the industry, Welspun Group chairman BK Goenka said.

Suryalakshmi Cotton Mills managing director Paritosh Agarwal said that pressure on garments pricing will now reduce and that will also boost the retail sector.

Giving investment allowance of 15% on investments of more than Rs. 100 crore in plant and machinery will boost growth of the industry, Agarwal added.

"We welcome removal of the excise duty on branded garments which is expected to provide some form of protection to the domestic industry from cheap imports," Clothing Manufacturers Association Of India (CMAI) president Rahul Mehta said.


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Highlights: Budget 2013  »

  • Expect higher revenue next year: Chidambaram
  • Unclear what the expense on food subsidies be at this stage: Chidambaram
  • Fuel subsidy likely to be lower this year: Chidambaram
  • Immediate goal is to achieve growth rate of 6%: Chidambaram
  • We have to be patient and wait for the economy to pick up: Chidambaram
  • We have not put impossible burdens on people: Chidambaram
  • The only way to contain current account deficit is to increase exports: Chidambaram
  • Confident that RBI will do it's part: Chidambaram
  • Economy is challenged in a number of ways: Chidambaram
  • This is a lollypop election budget: CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta
  • Budget has ignored SC/ST: Mayawati
  • Budget will only benefit industrialists, not common man: Mayawati
  • Budget will give impetus to Bihar's demand for special status: Nitish Kumar
  • FM has taken important steps to reverse pessimistic mood with regard to our economy: PM
  • There is need to convert challenges into opportunities: PM
  • The Finance Minister has done a commendable job: PM
  • Direct Benefit Transfer scheme to be rolled out
  • Ships and vessels exempted from excise duty
  • Direct tax code to be introduced in budget session of the Parliament
  • Set-top box import duty hiked
  • Gold duty limit raised to Rs. 50,000 for men; Rs. 1 lakh for women
  • 100% customs duty on luxury cars
  • Increase in import duty on high end bikes from 75% to 100%
  • 6% duty on mobile phones worth more than Rs. 2000
  • Excise duty on cigarette, cigar and cheeroot increased by 18%
  • Import duty on raw silk hiked to 15%
  • Luxury imported items to cost more
  • Donations to National Children's fund will be eligible for 100% tax deduction
  • No plans to revise direct taxes
  • No change in customs and excise duty
  • Tax credit of Rs. 2000 for those with income upto Rs. 5 lakh
  • Education cess at 3%
  • donations to be tax free
  • Surcharge of 10% on individuals, companies whose income is above Rs. 1 crore per year
  • No revision in tax slabs
  • Planned expenditure to be 33% of total expenditure
  • Rs. 1,000 crore allocated to women safety fund
  • Defence budget allocation increased to Rs. 2 lakh crore
  • Insurance and pension funds can now directly invest in debt funds
  • Domestic workers, Anganwadi workers, others to get group insurance
  • 13 public sector banks to get Rs. 14,000 crore
  • Propose to provide Rs. 14,000 cr for capital infusion in public sector banks
  • Inflation indexed bonds and NSCs to be introduced
  • JNNURM is being continued in the 12th Plan; Rs. 14,873 cr to be provided to the Mission
  • Rs. 33,000 crore to be allocated to MNREGA
  • Rs. 6000 crore for rural housing fund, Rs. 2000 cr for urban housing fund
  • Two new ports to be built in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh
  • All towns having population of 10,000 to get LIC office
  • Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna to be extended to rickshaw pullers and rag pickers
  • List of eligible securities will be enlarged: Chidambaram
  • SEBI to simplify procedures for entry of foreign portfolio investors in India: Chidambaram
  • India's first all-women public sector bank to be set up
  • All public sector bank branches to have ATMs
  • Focus on modernisation of powerloom sector
  • Propose to continue with the technology upgradation, funds scheme for textile sector: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 1650 cr allocated for AIIMS like institutes
  • Natural gas pricing policy will be reviewed: Chidambaram
  • Person taking home loan for the first time to get tax cut of Rs. 1 lakh
  • Regulatory authority to be set up for road sector
  • Rs. 17,700 crore to be allocated for Integrated Child Development Scheme
  • Rs. 5000 cr allocated to NABARD
  • Income level of Rajiv Gandhi equity schemes increased by Rs. 2 lakh
  • Rs. 80, 194 crore allocated for rural development: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 25,000 cr to be raised through tax free bonds: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 10,000 crore for food security bill promised by UPA: Chidambaram
  • Infrastructure debt fund to be encouraged: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 37,330 cr allocated to ministry of health and family welfare: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 41,000 allocated for scheduled caste welfare: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 27,49 cr to be allocated to the agriculture ministry: Chidambaram
  • Plan expenditure in 12th Five Year Plan revised to Rs. 14,30,825 cr or 96% of budgeted expenditure
  • Scholarships for students from SC/ST, minority communities: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 110 cr to be allocated to department of disability: Chidambaram
  • Increased allocation for safe drinking water and sanitation: Chidambaram
  • Increased allocation for mid-day meal schemes: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 65,000 cr allocation for education schemes: Chidambaram
  • Rs. 110 cr to be allocated to department of disability: Chidambaram
  • Need $ 75 billion to bridge current account deficit: Chidambaram
  • 2013-14 budget has sub-plans for SC, ST, youth and women: Chidambaram
  • Foreign investment imperative for growth: Chidambaram
  • Our economy has slowed down after 2010: Chidambaram
  • No choice but to cut spendings to control inflation: Chidambaram
  • China and Indonesia are growing faster than India: Chidambaram
  • Getting back to 8% growth is a challenge for country: Chidambaram
  • Our goal is higher growth: Chidambaram
  • Between 2004-2008 and again in 2009-10, 2010-11 the growth rate was over 8%: Chidambaram
  • P Chidambaram begins budget address in Lok Sabha
  • Cabinet endorses Union Budget 2013-14, to be presented in Parliament shortly.
  • Finance minister P Chidambaram reaches North Block.
  • Chidambaram set to present India's 82nd national budget.
  • Today's Union Budget will be Chidambaram's eighth personal exercise.
  • It's two short of the record of 10 set by former PM Morarji Desai.
  • Since Independence, the country has seen a total of 25 ministers hold the finance portfolio.
  • India has also seen budgets - 65 normal annual budgets, 12 interim budgets and four mini-budgets.
  • Morarji Desai presented eight normal and two interim budgets.
  • Thursday will see Chidambaram equal the eight-budget track record of Pranab Mukherjee.
  • Chidambaram will surpass Yashwant Sinha, YB Chavan and CD Deshmukh who all presented seven budgets each.
  • PM Manmohan Singh and TT Krishnamachari have presented six budgets each.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi have presented one budget each.
  • Sensex closed up more than half a percent a day before the union budget 2013-14
  • It will be the eighth such personal exercise for him
  • Chidambaram set to present India's 82nd national budget in Lok Sabha

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