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Union Budget
General Budget 2013: Growth and investment oriented, says India Inc.
Expressing satisfaction over the general budget presented by the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, the India Inc. has termed it as growth and investment oriented.

Confederation Indian Industry (CII) has hailed the budget 2013-14, saying that while addressing fiscal consolidation, the budget focuses on inclusive and sustained human development. CII's Director General Chandrajeet Banerjee said in a statement that commendable initiatives have been taken in critical sectors such as agriculture, investment in manufacturing and infrastructure, MSME growth and capital market development among others.

CII lauded the announcement of 15% investment allowance to kick-start capital formation. CII particularly welcomed the enhanced outlay on education, healthcare and skill development with a view to increasing opportunities for the youth.

Apex industry body Assocham also complimented Finance Minister P. Chidambaram for his budget. “The budget will revive the manufacturing sector which had come under stress. The biggest takeaway for the sector is the investment allowance. Besides, the boost to the infrastructure sector in terms of raising of the limit for tax free bonds to Rs 50,000 crore for 2013-14 will have a positive spillover for the overall economic growth,” said Rajkumar Dhoot, president of Assocham.

It also has a very strong social dimension, which is reflected in the announcement to set up an all-women bank with a capital outlay of Rs 1,000 crore, said CII.

Contrary to apprehensions that the Finance Minister would be under pressure to come out with a populist budget in the run up to 2014 general elections, he has presented before parliament a budget which is sound in economics and has not fallen to the temptation of elections, observed Assocham.

“You require political courage to mobilize additional tax resources equivalent to Rs 18, 000 crore in an election year. Mr Chidambaram has done it despite pressure of the coalition politics,” said the Assocham chief.

Industry chamber FICCI welcomed the announcement by the Finance Minister to move from profit sharing to revenue sharing for E & P projects, as this will do away the ambiguity in calculation of Cost Recovery and approval of capital expenditure incurred by E&P Companies before sharing profit petroleum with the government. The PLP based scheme will bring in more transparency into the system, said Mr. R S Sharma, Chairman, FICCI Hydrocarbon Committee. He also welcomed the intent of the government to resolve the impasse on the NELP blocks awaiting clearance due to security and regulatory hurdles.

While FICCI welcomed the extension provided to Power Sector for a period of one year till March 31, 2014 under section 80 (I) A, but hopes that the same benefit may be extended till the end of the XII Plan as private sector is envaisaged to add a little more than 50% of the installed capacity in the plan period, said Mr. Sunil Wadhwa, CEO, IL&FS Energy Services Company Ltd. and Co-chair, FICCI, Power Committee.

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