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Budget Reaction: It’s A Very Focused, A Very Good Budget, Sandip Somany

"It’s not a budget which is everything for everyone. They have specifically focused on improving certain areas of the economy which were underperforming or weaker. And they targeted that area," says Sandip Somany, Senior VP, FICCI & MD, HSIL Limited

In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, Sandip Somany, Senior VP, FICCI & MD, HSIL Limited, shares his views on the Budget introduced on February 1st. Edited excerpts:

There will be a BW Report Card – On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate the budget?

I don’t rate budgets, this is not the Finance Minister’s examination. I would say it’s a good budget. I won’t rate it on a scale.

Do you feel this is an election budget?

It certainly is aimed at taking away the issues the rural and agrarian India is facing. To that extent, it’s focused on improving the issues and the problems of our rural economy. And that’s a good focus. By focusing on that they are indirectly also focusing on the election, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There is a lot of good that the budget has in terms of making sure that they put a lot of money in the rural economy. They are going to spend 14.34 lakh crores on building roads, building homes for the rural areas. The 1.5 times of the cost of production being the minimum selling price for agricultural produce. That’s a very good move, because it will ensure regulated prices on farmers, and ultimately if the agricultural and rural sector does well, there will be an improvement in consumption, which is good for corporate India.

Is the jobs/ employment issue adequately addressed in the Union Budget?

Well, the government expects to create 7 million jobs in the coming year. If they do that, then that’s a great achievement.

Is the rural distress/ agriculture crisis adequately addressed in the Budget?

It has been addressed, but I think the question is how quickly they can put this into motion. Conceptually it’s been addressed, without any question. Even the scheme to make sure that the MSP is not gone by the farmer, between the state and the centre, they will find a scheme to reimburse the farmer, that’s a very positive step.

How do you summarise the Union Budget, in a few hundred words?

I think it’s a very focused, a very good budget, for what was their intention. They have been able to focus on that. It’s not a budget which is everything for everyone. They have specifically focused on improving certain areas of the economy which were underperforming or weaker. And they targeted that area. They have also done good work in the MSME sector, by giving a flat taxation rate of 25%, as well as making more credit available to them, of 3 lakh crores.


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Budget 2018


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