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Union Budget
Industry welcomes the interim budget presented today
Welcoming the Interim Budget presented by the outgoing government, Kris Gopalakrishnan, President of industry body CII said that the vision presented in the Budget was very much in line with what it believes in. He said that the Finance Minister has highlighted the importance of the manufacturing sector, which is key to reviving the economy.

The performance of the manufacturing sector over the last one year has been consistently poor and is in need of intervention by the Government, said CII.

“On behalf of CII, I must thank the Finance Minister for recognising this need and reducing excise in some of the most affected subsectors of manufacturing. The reduction in excise duty on sectors such as automobiles, capital goods and consumer electronics is indeed welcome, as this will help revive demand in these sectors,” said CII President.

In the 10-point vision laid out by the Minister, besides mentioning reduction in the twin deficits, emphasis was also given to a balanced monetary policy, implementation of infrastructure projects and development of cities. CII hopes that the new government will further strengthen the support given to industry and extend the support to other sectors. The implementation of GST should also be a priority for the coming government, the CII release said.

Industry body Assocham's President Rana Kapoor while commenting on the budget said that despite being low on expectations in an election year, Finance Minister P Chidambaram's Interim Budget has given a pleasant surprise at least partly to the manufacturing sector which has been bleeding. The excise duty cut on automobiles and capital goods will provide a much-needed relief to these sectors.

However, the industry would expect a much larger package from the new government to revive the manufacturing sector when a regular budget is presented some times in July.

More importantly, the Finance Minister deserves to be complimented since he is leaving behind the government treasury in a sound shape with the result that the overall macro picture of the Indian economy today looks far better than it was about eight months back, says the Assocham Chief.

Commenting on the Vote on Account presented today by the Government, Sidharth Birla, President, FICCI said that the statement made by the Finance Minister was balanced and largely on expected lines. While industry expectations were limited from an interim budget formality, the emphasis laid on turning around the growth trajectory and reviving the manufacturing sector in particular are well received.

The maximum focus this time was on the fiscal deficit number, a figure being closely watched by all investors.

"The Finance Minister has stuck to what he had promised with fiscal deficit being kept at 4.6 per cent of GDP in fiscal 2014 and lower than the budget estimate of 4.8 per cent. The future direction being given with regard to central government finances is also good. While this was the last budget of the government, yet the Finance Minister refrained from announcing any large populist measures", added Birla.

Industry has welcomed the initiative of a ten point charter outlining the vision for future of the Indian economy. Many of the points mentioned such as need for fiscal consolidation; importance of foreign investments for financing CAD; creating a balance between price stability and growth; deepening the financial sector reforms; intensifying efforts on infrastructure development; boosting manufacturing growth with zero taxing of exports and minimum tariff protection to encourage domestic value addition; containing subsidies; having planned urbanisation and pushing skill development have been highlighted by FICCI even in its most recently launched 'Economic Agenda for Growth'.

"While many of these points are aspirational, these are all achievable through concerted effort and a coordinated approach between centre and states", said Birla.

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