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Indian Budget-2014 will boost infrastructure: official

Jul 16, 2014

Focusing on essentials of growth, the Indian government assures a better future for the country through its maiden Budget 2014

New Delhi: Applauding the Union Budget 2014-2015, Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industry Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Industry stated that the Budget has primarily focused on the most important and the key drivers of economic growth which are urbanisation, infrastructure and manufacturing.

On infrastructure front, Kant said that the relaxation on Statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) and Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) announced in the budget is likely to help increase the funds availability for infrastructure projects. However he felt that Project Development is the key where government takes all the clearances and infra companies just focus on construction and development aspects. He further added that the budget has laid a special focus on industrial corridors and dedicated freight corridors to provide world class infrastructure.

Speaking on urbanisation, Kant asserts that this budget has taken a huge stride in terms of laying a focus on city development and urbanization. While every minute 30 Indians will move from rural areas to urban cities for the next 20 years, India is hugely lacking in approach in building or upgrading its city infrastructure. India’s aim to build 100 smart new cities would help India urbanise to meet the growing needs.

Giving assurance to the industry, he said that the government is committed to correct the inverted duty structure and few steps have been taken in this budget which is likely to provide positive impetus. He felt that Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has also impacted the manufacturing sector in India and government is looking at measures such as deemed export status to compensate and promote domestic manufacturing.

He appealed the industry to identify 5-6 sectors where India can emerge as world leader in the manufacturing. Acknowledging constraints, he stated that land acquisition and labour laws are two areas where India needs to do a lot.

As the Budget has announced the allocation of Rs 10000 crore for entrepreneurship development, it is one of the most innovative and promising steps taken by the government according to the minister.

He emphasised that no country in the world has grown and created jobs without having a manufacturing base.  India needs 1.5 million jobs per month - to create 18-19 million jobs per year manufacturing needs to grow by 10-11% per annum. He felt that India has started premature de-industrialization and there was a dire need for India to get manufacturing back on track.

Reduction in threshold limit for investment allowance, predictability in taxation policy, FDI in defence and insurance up to 49%, permission of 100% FDI in construction and reduction of threshold limit in built up area for FDI, introduction of E-business portal and several measures such as an advisory from Central government to all departments and state governments with regard to self certification, one register for all purposes, etc are testimony of government's commitment to revive manufacturing sector in India.

Given that it was just 45 days to prepare for this budget, Amitabh Kant concluded that the Government has done a commendable job, laying and providing a sound foundation and a direction for growth, at the same time keeping the fiscal deficit target to 4.1%.

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