Budget '18 in line with expectations: ASSOCHAM

ANI | Updated: Feb 01, 2018 18:30 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 1 (ANI): The budget is on expected lines and provides support to sections of the society where it was needed the most, the ASSOCHAM said on Thursday.

"Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has placed a huge emphasis on agriculture and rural India, allocating bulk of resources to tinterior landscape, while helping the middle class salaried employees along with relief to senior citizens, measures which would boost consumer demand and help revive economic growth," said ASSOCHAM President Sandeep Jajodia.

"The agriculture and rural landscape were in some kind of distress and provision of over Rs 14.34 lakh crore to be spent on rural infrastructure should also add to the employment generation especially in the farm sector. This money would come from non-budgetary sources. Relief to the salaried employees by way of Rs 40,000 per annum would leave more disposable income in the hands of the middle class and boost consumer demand," he added.

Jajodia further said the launch of 585 e-mandis and linking them with 22,000 APMC mandis, without applying restrictive clause would help farmers as also those companies engaged in agri -processing, FMCG, including organised big retail chains.

One of the major problems associated with the Minimum Support Price (MSP) was its implementation. Now, the ASSOCHAM said with the NITI Aayog's commitment, farmers would get price of their produce which is one and half times of the cost.

Furthermore, Jajodia said initiatives like Operation Green to stabilise prices of highly political and consumer sensitive onion and potato would help ease the retail inflation and would help the RBI in keeping interest rates on lower side.

He also said fiscal deficit targets have marginally been surpassed, if expenditure involves a quality spending, the outcome would only help economic growth.

Jajodia also lauded Jaitley for excessive emphasis and budget allocations on healthcare, especially in the rural sector, and for reducing corporate tax for companies which have a turnover upto Rs 250 crore, and initiatives for startups and Make in India. (ANI)