The influential industrial groups of the North East, including the Federation of Industry and Commerce of North Eastern Region (FINER), welcomed the Union Budget 2023-24 saying that it will be good for the inclusive growth of the region.
Hailing the Union Budget, FINER president Bajrang Lohia said that Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented a citizen-centric, growth-oriented budget, which clearly sets the priorities going ahead, aiming at a stable tax regime.
“The announcement of laying Rs 2,491 crore for the North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme is a huge relief to the industry fraternity of the region. Under the scheme, 100 per cent central funding is provided to the state governments of the region for the projects of physical infrastructure relating to water supply, power and connectivity enhancing tourism and social infrastructure relating to primary and secondary sectors of education and health,” Lohia said.
“We in the North East however do not see any mention of the industrial policy for the North East, which expired last year. The share in private investment in the North East has shrunk substantially over the years after the completion of the period of North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP, 2007). We would hope that the announcement thereof would be there sooner than later,” he said.
Welcoming the budget, the North East Advisory Council of FICCI said this budget is a forward-thinking budget that prioritizes inclusive growth.
“The budget takes a comprehensive approach to development, and the proposed investments in key areas like infrastructure, agriculture, healthcare, education, manufacturing, and digitalization are a positive step forward,” said Ranjit Barthakur, chairman of FICCI North East Advisory Council.
“The measures proposed to boost the manufacturing sector and increase exports, including tax incentives for domestic value addition and increased investment in research and development, are expected to create a supportive environment for the growth and competitiveness of the manufacturing sector in the region,” Barthakur said.
“This will provide a much-needed boost the competitiveness and help to create a vibrant manufacturing sector,” Barthakur added.
Appreciating the budget initiatives, Indian Chamber of Commerce North East Regional Council the budget represents the intent of the new government of boosting the local industries reiterating its slogan of ‘Vocal for Local’.
“The budget is one of the most inclusive budgets in recent times which take care from common man to MSME sector and also to large industries,” said Sarat Kumar Jain, chairman of Assam Chapter of ICC.
“It is growth-oriented and has focused on infrastructure, manufacturing, saving stimulus and at the same addresses the issue of agriculture, education, skill development, public health and had made an attempt for inclusive growth. We believe that this bold and innovative budget will help India to achieve the three trillion economies and a global leader,” Jain said.
Reacting to the Union Budget, HDFC Banks’ chief economist Abheek Barua said, “The budget recognised that it would have to continue playing the lead role in driving investments in the economy given the rising global risks and only a nascent recovery in the private capex cycle. The capital outlay for 2023-24 was raised to Rs 10 lakh crore, a rise of 33 per cent year on year.”
“The budget also pays heed to the need for fiscal consolidation reducing its fiscal deficit target to 5.9 per cent of GDP in 2023-24 from 6.4 per cent in 2022-23,” Baruah said.
“The resultant lower-than-expected market borrowing number is likely to bring some relief for the bond market. We see the 10-year bond yield to moderate towards 7-7.1 per cent in FY24,” he said.
“The budget also announced adjustments in income tax slabs that are likely to boost consumption and savings in the economy, benefitting taxpayers, particularly at the lower brackets of the income pyramid,” he added.