A non-Inflationary Budget that ticks almost all the right boxes
Monday, February 29, 2016
Mr. Sunil Duggal, Chief Executive Officer, Dabur India Ltd.
Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley’s nine-point-agenda Budget is a balanced statement that seeks to move away from offering freebies to promoting investments. It is highly encouraging to see that fiscal discipline has been given priority in this year's budget, with an emphasis on improving the quality of life in Rural India.
The Union Budget 2016-17 was going to be a tough balancing act for the Finance Minister, given the strong headwinds on both the Global and the domestic Economic front. And he has managed it well. With a plethora of announcements, be it in the form of greater focus on farmers and rural development, promoting investments in Infrastructure and Health Care and opening up FDI in Food Processing, the Finance Minister has taken positive steps that would not just boost overall confidence, but also go a long way in generating employment.
His focus, this year, has clearly been the farmers and people in the hinterland, who have been in the woods in the recent years, by doubling the income of farmers in the next 5 years. Improving connectivity from farm to market, fast-tracking irrigation projects, provision towards interest subvention for farmers and a crop insurance scheme are also steps in the right direction. These steps will help our millions of farmers recover from the rough patch they have been going through and go a long way in boosting confidence and fuelling consumerism in rural India.
His focus has been on empowering the man on the street with his Income-Tax proposals, with tax rebates for individuals with net income of up to Rs 5 lakh and tax relief on House Rent Allowance etc. This would provide some relief to the salary earners and put more money and more savings in the hands of the common man.
I am quite happy with the government continuing the rural focus and looking at enhancing allocation to MNREGA, besides focusing on skill development for the rural populace. These initiatives would help promote entrepreneurship among the rural populace, add jobs and put more disposable income in the pockets of the rural consumer, improving their standards of living and ensuring continued rural demand for branded consumer goods.
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