Business community voices mixed opinion on General Budget

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New Delhi, Feb. 29 (ANI): The head of Audi India, Joe King, on Monday said though the General Budget for 2016-17 presents a transformative agenda with clear-cut focus on initiatives for farmers, rural sector and infrastructure development, but it negatively impacts the automobile industry.

“We are disappointed that the industry’s demand on reducing excise duty has not been addressed. On the contrary, one percent infra cess on petrol, CNG, LPG cars, 2.5 percent on small diesel cars and 4 percent on bigger diesel cars and SUVs has been added, which will further affect the price and consequently demands,” he said.

“Also, we need to evaluate the impact of extra tax levy of one percent on purchase of cars above Rs.10 lakh. The Government has not announced any positive initiatives for the industry, which contributes so heavily to the manufacturing sector and overall economy,” he added.

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King, however, said, “We are pleased to see the increase in expenditure on infrastructural development with specific announcements like approval of 10000 km of national highways and total investment in the road sector at Rs. 97,000 cr in FY17 that should help in people getting better road infrastructure.”

“The FM has announced many measures, which will support the common man, including health protection scheme for health cover up to Rs 1 lakh per family, raising personal I-T house rent exemption to 60,000 from 20,000 per year, first home buyers getting an additional deduction on interest of Rs. 50,000, provided value of the house does not exceed Rs 50 lakh; and ceiling of tax rebate for tax payers with up to Rs 5 lakh annual income to be raised to Rs 5,000 from Rs 2,000,” he said.

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“This should help the common man in increased savings. Also the target of 100 percent rural electrification by May 2018 is a great step in the path of development,” he added.

Meanwhile, welcoming the budget for backing start-ups, Neeraj Mittal, JMD, Bonita India, a start-up, on Monday said the budget seems to be in favour of start-ups with the aim to accelerate entrepreneurship in India, and to make it a robust part of the economy.

“Hundred percent tax exemption for three years, except the Moving Annual Total (MAT), will motivate start ups to gain momentum in their respective businesses. The budget also caters to ensure speedy registration to boost start-ups with the succour from companies act,” he said.

There is a need to boost entrepreneurship among SC/ST and women, and also to encourage entrepreneurship skills among socially backward sections, he said. (ANI)

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