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India Inc welcomes focus on capex, consumption


Mumbai: India Inc. on Wednesday welcomed a fiscally-balanced and tax-focused budget, which finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented as the first in Amrit Kaal, with the Indian economy looking to a bright future.

In her last full budget before the 2024 general elections, the focus was on capex, manufacturing, tax regime and infrastructure. Essentially, the Centre outlined seven priority areas—development, infrastructure, investment, unleashing potential, green growth, youth power and the financial sector.

“M’bap’pe of a budget, not Messi at all. A budget that puts India on the path to become the world champion—all set to score goals on infra development, consumption and inclusion. A big boost for domestic manufacturing, job creation and ease of doing business,” said Harsh Goenka, in a nod to the soccer star. The Centre set aside 10 trillion for capital expenditure, up nearly 33% from the previous year. The Railways gets 2.40 trillion, its highest ever, and about nine times the outlay in 2013-14.

“I welcome the move to more productive expenditure, budgeting capital spending of 10 lakh crore—a 33% increase over the previous year and the highest in the past two decades as a share of GDP. At the same time, the revision of income tax slabs under the new tax regime should increase purchasing power for many. Loan guarantees and other assistance toward MSMEs, a focus on tourism, and measures announced for the care economy will boost job creation. The budget also remains committed to shared prosperity by extending the free food scheme for one more year,” said N. Chandrasekaran, chairman, Tata Sons.

Uday Kotak, MD & CEO, Kotak Mahindra Bank said, “Budget with vision, structure, discipline. Immediate benefits to all individual earners. Continues measured path of fiscal consolidation. Sets foundation to increase every India’s per capita income exponentially from 1.97 lakh (2400$). True to its name: 1st budget from Amrit Kaal.”

Under the new tax regime, the rebate limit has been increased to 7 lakh from 5 lakh earlier. Additionally, the number tax slabs will be cut to 5 instead of 7 in the new regime.

Sajjan Jindal, chairman, JSW Group, said, “A 40% increase in the income tax rebate limit from 5 lakh to 7 lakh is a huge comfort that this budget has given to our middle-income group and is a great step to strengthen their finances. More money in the pockets, more spending! Overall, I believe it’s a great budget and will complement India’s growth story.”

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