By: Shubham Ghosh
The provision for green growth in India’s first ‘Amrit Kaal’ budget announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday (1) pleased UAE-based NRI businesspeople.
‘Amrit Kaal’ is described by the government as the 25 years culminating in the centenary of India’s independence.
“Overall, this budget by the Modi government seems to be good as it focuses on the green economy,” Dr Sunil Manjarekar, president of the Gulf Maharashtra Business Forum Global, told PTI. He also said that with the emphasis given to the auto industry and with this eco-friendly initiative, India would contribute to the green revolution.
“Reduction in customs duty on textiles, toys, bicycles from 21 per cent to 13 per cent will boost sales,” Manjarekar said.
“The budget appears very useful for middle-class families as the income tax slab has been put at Rs 7 lakhs. It will help the economy and boost the markets,” said Chandrashekhar Bhatia of the Global Business Federation, Dubai.
Bhatia highlighted the measures in the budget, such as grain and education for the poor, and steps taken to boost healthcare and tourism and said, “Overall, we are happy with the budget, and we hope the government of India will extend more help to the NRI community.”
Kamal Vachani, group director and partner, Al Maya Group, called the budget “people-friendly” as tax exemption has been increased for income up to 7 lakhs, and other tax exemptions have been allowed.
“This is a major step taken by the Finance Minister, which will benefit middle-income taxpayers in a big way as this will get higher spending by the households, leading to a boost in aggregate demand,” said Vachani, who is also the Regional Director of the Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC).
According to him, the reduction of custom duty on parts of open cells of television, mobile phones, mobile phones, and camera lenses would go a long way in enhancing India’s export of it.
He also highlighted reduced dependence on fossil fuels, export orientation, and the introduction of the Nation Green Hydrogen Mission as “welcome steps” that will save the environment and help curb pollution.
Arun Chulani, co-founder of First Water Capital Fund, called the budget “a continuation with no unpleasant surprises” as he emphasised infrastructure and its importance as a multiplier to the economy and employment.
“Recent geo-political events and their subsequent impact on energy prices were probably a key factor in the decision to increase the defence budget by over 20 per cent, as well as the Government’s efforts on energy transition with Rs 35,000 crores ringfenced for renewables, and its focus towards green hydrogen,” Chulani said.
“In light of the high cost of living, there was also some relief for some taxpayers with a re-jigging of the tax slabs which should give some further incentive for increased savings or spending,” he said.
Finance Minister Sitharaman said the budget adopts seven priorities to guide India through the Amrit Kaal.
“The budget adopts the following seven priorities — inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, unleashing the potential, green growth, youth power and financial sector,” she said in her budget speech.