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UK business community welcomes Indian budget

The presentation of the budget was keenly followed in London in the context of eagerness to enhance trade relations with India post Brexit.

world Updated: Feb 05, 2018 23:27 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Union budget,Confederation of British Industry,finance minister Arun Jaitley
Finance minister Arun Jaitley holds his briefcase as he arrives at Parliament to present the Union budget on February 1, 2018.(Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has welcomed the Union budget presented in Parliament by finance minister Arun Jaitley but said companies would have liked to hear more about measures to reduce the compliance cost of GST and corporation tax for larger investors.

The presentation of the budget was keenly followed in London in the context of eagerness to enhance trade relations with India post Brexit. Several British and Indian representatives participated in a seminar at the Indian high commission after the budget was delivered.

CBI international director Ben Digby said: “This is a budget to make life that little bit easier. This will be applauded by British companies, who employ one in twenty of the population of India in the organised private sector, and are committed to improving the lives and prosperity of people and communities across the country.

“British investors will recognise the considerable progress on economic reform the finance minister outlined in his statement, including the implementation of GST, and measures to improve the ease of doing business, as well as a more open climate for foreign direct investment.”

However, he said firms would have liked to hear more about measures to reduce the compliance cost of GST and corporation tax for larger investors. He added that the announcements on healthcare provision, education, the new defence production corridor, and rural infrastructure all provide “great opportunities for UK in areas which very much play to its strengths”.

The UK is among India’s top trading partners, ranking 16th in 2016-17. According to the office for national statistics, UK-India bilateral trade in goods and services was £16.33 billion in 2015-16.

The UK is also the fourth largest inward investor in India after Mauritius, Singapore and Japan, with a cumulative equity investment of $24.37 billion (April 2000- December 2016), accounting for around 7% of all foreign direct investment in India.

First Published: Feb 05, 2018 23:27 IST