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FICCI terms Interim Budget as Progressive'

New Delhi, Feb 1: FICCI on Friday hailed the Interim Budget as Progressive', saying it addresses the current challenges faced by the economy and outlines the vision for the future.

FICCI president Sandip Somany, reacting to the Interim Budget presented in Parliament today, said, It is a progressive budget that addresses both the current challenges being faced by the economy as well as presents an outline of the vision the government has for the future of India 10 years ahead. FICCI compliments the Government for its clear focus on the agriculture sector, particularly the small and marginal farmers, the middle class, senior citizens, small-savers and workers in the unorganised sector. The budget contains several comprehensive proposals that would benefit each of these sections of our society and this is in line with government's philosophy of sabka saath, sabka vikas'.

Talking further about the Direct Income Support scheme under which an amount of Rs 6000 per annum will be provided to farmers having cultivable land of up to 2 hectares, Somany said, FICCI had suggested the need for Direct Income Support for farmers and is happy to see its inclusion in the budget. This is critical as through this measure the government will be able to cover all the small and marginal farmers as compared to the MSP scheme which benefits just about 30% of such farmers. By also committing funds upfront from the central pool, any resistance from states will be avoided.

FICCI also termed the announcement of a mega pension programme to provide social security to workers engaged in the unorganised sector, as the other high point of the budget.

This very well complements the support rendered to them through the healthcare and life insurance schemes already announced earlier and completes the social safety net which is so essential for crores of workers in the informal sector. Through this scheme the government has pushed the financial inclusion agenda forward and underlined its commitment to promote the welfare of those who need it the most, said Somany.

FICCI also stated that the proposal of offering a full tax rebate to individuals having an annual taxable income of up to Rs 5 lakh would be extremely beneficial for the lower middle-class taxpayers comprising self-employed, small businesses, small traders, salary earners, pensioners and senior citizens.

We see a positive momentum building for the housing and real estate sector which has major forward and backward linkages. All of these are positive for growth, will have a multiplier impact and improve the outlook for the economy in the coming years, said Somany.

The NDA government on Friday presented a Vote-on-Account with an interim budget for the government's smooth functioning till the time a new government is elected.

The presentation of the budget is the last financial exercise of the Narendra Modi government before the General elections, scheduled for April-May this year.

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FICCI terms Interim Budget as Progressive'


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