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Business Economy

Union Budget focuses on growth potential of Indian Economy : FIEO Prez

Hyderabad, Feb 1 (UNI) FIEO (Federation of Indian Export Organisations) President Dr A Sakthivel on Wednesday hailed the Union Budget and said it has focused on growth potential of the Indian economy.
The budget 2023-24, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament, also focused on investment & infrastructure to help the country to remain as a fastest growing economy as projected by the international institutions.
In a statement, Dr Sakthivel said that many of the changes in the customs duties will help to provide competitiveness to manufacturing and exports besides attempting imports substitution.
Various initiatives taken to encourage investment including increase in capital investment outlay by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore, 50 years interest free loan to States to incentivise infrastructure investment, highest ever capital outlay for Railways, 100 infrastructure projects in port, coal, steel, fertilizer and urban infrastructure in tier-II and III cities through Urban Infrastructure Development Fund will have a spin off effect on economy and employment, the FIEO President said.
The sharp cut in personal income tax and encouragement to savings will add to the purchasing power adding to the demand including housing which will make our economy much more resilient during such challenging times, he said.
The Budget focuses on Ease of Doing Business by removal of a large number of compliances converting over 3400 legal provisions into decriminalisation and amending 42 Central Acts.
The reduction in duty on denatured ethyl alcohol and crude glycerine will help the downstream users in the chemical sector, reduction in duty on key inputs for producing shrimp feed will help the marine exports as will be the dropped in duty on seeds for manufacturing lab grown diamonds and R&D grant for the same to facilitate gems & jewellery exports.
The setting up of Unity Mall in states for promotion and sale of One District One Product, GI products and handicraft goods will help in showcasing such products for the benefit of artisans, craftsmen and farmers.
However, we need to put such stores at the international airports also to encourage global visibility of such products, said Dr Sakthivel.
Appreciating the launch of Agri Accelerator Fund for Agri Start-ups and Innovators in the rural areas, setting up of Indian Institutes of Millet and special window under PM Matsya Sampada Yojana for pushing agriculture exports, he said that the same needs to be supplemented with a revamped Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) scheme looking into the supply side disruptions and logistics challenges.
The increase in the allocation for the Interest Equalization Scheme from Rs 2376 crore in 2022-23 to Rs 2932 crore in 2023-24, up by 23 percent, will help in supporting exports particularly by MSMEs and may result in increasing the subvention support as demanded by the exporters in view of rising interest rates, the FIEO Chief observed.
Dr Sakthivel said that while the increase in allocation for the MAI Scheme from Rs 160 crore in 2022-23 to Rs 200 crore in 2023-24 is a welcome one, this may not be adequate as the global trade shows are increasingly giving opportunities for showcasing which needs to be exploited.
He reiterated that a planned scheme for aggressive overseas marketing may be notified with a sizable corpus to encourage exporters to showcase globally.
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