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Union Budget 2017-18 Will Strengthen Economic Muscle: FICCI President

The budget is directionally correct, fiscally prudent and strengthens the governance fabric of the nation, says Pankaj Patel

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The new budget would tremendously strengthen the economic muscle of the country, said Pankaj Patel, president of FICCI, in his comments on the Union Budget 2017-18.

"It is directionally correct, fiscally prudent and strengthens the governance fabric of the nation. FICCI compliments the Finance Minister on his vision for the economy which alongside economic growth also ensures economic justice. Growth without inclusion can be a liability for the country," Patel said.

The biggest takeaway from the budget is the reform introduced in the area of political funding, he said, adding that the demonetisation move of the government was an attack on the stock of black money and the measures announced in the budget on electoral funding will help attack the root cause of corruption of India.

"FICCI had represented to the government for bringing in such measures that will enhance transparency in line with the tenets of good governance. I give full marks to the government for this bold and pragmatic measure”, Patel added.

In pursuance of its objective to double the income of farmers in five years’ time, the government has significantly enhanced the allocations under most of the agri-economy directed schemes and programs including those related to farm credit, crop insurance, soil health, irrigation, market infrastructure, dairy farming et al.

"All these efforts including the all-time high annual allocation for the reformed MNREGA scheme will not only help improve the income levels in the rural areas of the country but also help generate a swathe of new jobs across vast parts of the nation. This is a clear boost for generating demand on a large scale", Patel said.

FICCI has been emphasising the need to have a strong education and skill development framework in the country in order to capitalise on the demographic dividend that the country has. The budget contains many measures that would move us closer to realising this.

With the inclusion of the Railway Budget in the main Budget, government has been able to focus on development of the transportation network within the country in an integrated manner. The major plans as outlined by the Finance Minister on infrastructure development will help improve the service quality as well as bring in greater efficiency in the operations of our railways, ports, roads and highways.

"Another plus in the infra sector is the extension of infrastructure sector status to the affordable housing segment. Housing sector is a force multiplier with its linkages to almost 200 industries across the economy. FICCI had strongly advocated for special recognition of this potential and thanks the government for having made this move", Patel said.

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Union Budget 2017-18 ficci pankaj patel arun jaitley