Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Andhra Pradesh, has described the Union Budget 2016-17 as an “overall positive” exercise, but one that did not take enough measures to check the onslaught of Chinese companies.
As far as A.P is concerned, the CII office-bearers believe that the allowance of 100 per cent FDI in marketing of food products through the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) route will be useful in realising the potential of the ailing food processing sector.
Proposal for development of Greenfield ports on the East Coast raised their hopes of maritime sector getting the requisite boost at a time when the State government has drawn big plans for expanding the existing ports and building new ones.
The impetus given to rail and road infrastructure development is considered as a growth stimulant for the fledgling State. The proposed upgrading of over 10,000 km of major roads into National Highways is expected to help A.P in augmenting its transport facilities, thereby facilitating its transformation into a logistics hub.
Various other proposals that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley mentioned in the Budget are such issues at the bottom of the pyramid that are rightly addressed to create the enabling environment and some of them will play a catalytic role in the development of A.P.
Addressing the media after tele-viewing the Budget session here, its A.P Chairman Suresh Chitturi said the Budget had apparently taken initiatives that would further improve the ease-of-doing-business ranking. One thing that the business community looked for, but left out, was the Goods and Services Tax.
On the positive side, the government has increased its focus on agriculture and rural development.
“If the steps aimed at increasing the farmers’ incomes yield the desired result, it will be the greatest thing to happen to the economy, which is still agrarian in its basic character. “
Plans for revival of 160 un-served / under-served airports / strips and 10 out of 25 non-functional airstrips under the control of Airports Authority of India augur well for A.P, which laid unprecedented thrust on air connectivity, Mr. Suresh added.
CII Vijayawada Zone Chairman G. Venkateswara Rao said the Rs.5,000 crore earmarked for crop insurance scheme would reduce the losses incurred by farmers due to seasonal variations.
CII Vizag Zone chairman Neeraj Sarda said the substantial allotment of funds for augmenting road and rail and other infrastructure projects and thrust being laid to Sagarmala would boost the economy.
He said the increase in allocation for MGNREGA was an indication of the fact that the government wanted to lay more emphasis on agriculture and irrigation. Exemption of tax for start-ups and MSMEs were also positive developments to attract more entrepreneurs to the sector.
Mr. Sarda termed a big disappointment the failure to reduce MAT for units functioning in SEZs and felt that it would have a long-term effect. He praised the decision to give statutory status to Aadhaar and said Aadhaar seeding for all services should be made compulsory to prevent flow of black money. Stating that it was not a ‘big bank budget’ for the industries, he said going by the external factors and economy slowdown world-over, the announcement to peg the fiscal deficit at 3.5 per cent was a welcome decision. He welcomed the decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in food sector.
Mr. Sarda said the budget speech had not found any mention in its highlights on development of tourism sector – a major area to earn revenue and create jobs.
“Impose green tax on
Kusalava International Limited MD Ch. R.K. Prasad said the government should have given a roadmap for scrapping old vehicles for boosting automobile manufacturing while imposing green tax on polluting ones.
Better Castings Limited CEO J.S.R.K. Prasad said the doubling of clean energy cess on coal would lead to a substantial increase in power tariff due to the imminent spurt in fuel surcharges.
Efftronics Systems Private Limited MD D. Ramakrishna said the Rs.1,000 crore provided for higher education was negligible. The digital repository for school leaving certificates and diplomas was however a positive thing.
Ramesh Hospitals Chief Financial Officer P. Ravi Kiran said the rendering of dialysis services in district hospitals for which basic equipment were sought to be exempted from excise and countervailing duties (to bring down their cost) would help nearly 2.2 lakh people suffering with end-stage renal disease in curtailing their monthly expenditure.
CII Indian Women Network Vice-Chairperson (A.P) V. Nagalakshmi welcomed the allocation of Rs.500 crore for SC, ST and women entrepreneurs under the Stand-Up India scheme.
CII MSME Panel Convener Y.V. Krishna Mohan said the provision of Rs.1.80 lakh crore for MUDRA scheme would facilitate the establishment of more small and medium enterprises.
One thing that has been left out is Goods and Services Tax.
A.P CII Chairman
Initiatives taken will further improve the ‘ease of doing business’ ranking
Focus on agriculture and rural development a welcome step
Plans for revival of un-served / underserved airports / strips augurs well for State
Roadmap should have been given for scrapping old vehicles
Doubling of clean energy cess on coal will lead to substantial increase in power tariff
Rs.1,000 crore provided for higher education negligible