New Delhi, Feb 17 IANS | 7 months ago

India inc Monday welcomed the interim budget presented by Finance Minister P. Chidabaram for its stress on manufacturing.


"The finance minister has highlighted the importance of the manufacturing sector, which is key to reviving the economy," said Kris Gopalakrishnan, president, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).

"The reduction in excise duty on sectors such as automobiles, capital goods and consumer electronics is indeed welcome, as this will help revive demand in these sectors."

According to Gopalakrishnan, "It is clear that the government has stayed on the fiscal discipline roadmap and achieving a 4.6 percent fiscal deficit is no small feat."

CII added that it hoped that the implementation of GST (goods and services tax) should be a priority for the coming government.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry's (FICCI) president Sidharth Birla said the interim budget was balanced and met industries expectations.

"The future direction being given with regard to central government finances is good. While this was the last budget of the government, yet the Finance Minister refrained from announcing any large populist measures," said Birla.

FICCI added that while many of the ten point charter announced by the finance minister are aspirational, these are all achievable through concerted effort and a coordinated approach between centre and states.

Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) expected that the relief package for some industrial sectors continue under the new government to revive the manufacturing when a regular budget is presented in July.

"While the industry too is disappointed for the country not being able to usher in the major tax reforms in the form of GST, we look forward to the new government to complete the task," Rana Kapoor, president, ASSOCHAM.

Meanwhile, industry lobbies too welcomed the budget and the excise duty reduction that was affected in select sectors.

Indian automobile industry too welcomed Finance Minister Chidambaram's move to cut excise duty on several product types of the sector.

"We believe this reduction in excise duty would reduce the acquisition price, thereby making vehicles more affordable - which would improve the consumer sentiment, and hopefully revive the demand for vehicles," Vikram Kirloskar, president, Society of Indian Manufacturers (SIAM), said.

Kirloskar described the automotive industry as the engine of manufacturing sector growth for and a key support to sub-industries like components, capital goods, raw materials, electronics, chemicals, plastics and software.

Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA) welcomed the reduction of duty on vehicles and select auto components.

"The automotive industry has been reeling under significant pressure for quite sometime now, the announcement on reduction in excise duty is timely and will uplift consumer sentiments," said Harish Lakshman, president, ACMA.

"The reduction in excise duty on capital goods from 12 percent to 10 percent will stimulate the industry for higher investments in manufacturing."

(Posted on 17-02-2014)

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