Economic experts have welcomed the Union Budget 2016-17, presented by Union Minister for Finance Arun Jaitley, stating that it has focused on economic development in a well balanced manner.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Registrar of St Aloysius College, Mangaluru, Prof A M Narahari said the Union budget is constructive. It is very good in terms of long-term planning and development. The thrust given on farming sector and rural development is a welcome development. Bringing back MGNREGS and allocating Rs 38,500 crore for the purpose is one of the salient features of the budget. Social sector will also be benefited and farmers will get a relief through the budget, he added.
Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Rammohan Pai Maroor felt the budget is positive from the viewpoint of trade and commerce. Exemption of income tax for industry startups would be an encouragement for new entrepreneurs. Also, there is a good investment in infrastructure such as in railways and road transportation. It will compliment the growth of trade, he said.
The allocation of Rs 25,000 to the banking sector will also be a boost for industry sector, Pai said and observed that the budget is a balanced budget.
He welcomed the decision of the Finance Ministry to limit the fiscal deficit to 3.5 per cent.
Nitte University Registrar Dr M S Moodithaya said the budget has recognised the fact that a well-educated population is the key driver for economic growth. Rs 1,700 crore set aside for 1,500 multiskill development centres, creation of a Rs 1,000 crore higher education fund and creation of a digital repository are some of the good steps proposed in the budget, he said.
Commitment to develop ten world-class institutions each in both private and public sectors would facilitate development of centres of excellence that could play catalytic role in the rejuvenation of higher education system, he remarked.
He said the announcement of compliance window for declaration of undisclosed income on the payment of 45 per cent tax, for domestic black money holders are also welcome steps.
Nitte Institute of Management Professor of Economics and Karnataka State Planning Board former member Prof G V Joshi said the Central government’s focus on agriculture and rural development is a good sign. Linking them in an effective way will help in the long run. There is a big transformation in the policy of the government as far as rural development is concerned, he felt.
Prof Joshi said the finance minister has just continued the policies which he has been stressing upon since he took over the finance portfolio and there is no remarkable change in sectors such as infrastructure development and improvement of tax administration. Income tax exemption limit is maintained. However, Income limit was expected to be raised to at least Rs 3 lakh, he added.
Prof Joshi said the budget has tried to take forward credit, trade and marketing aspects of farming sector in an integrated way, with a plan to double farmers’ income in five years. For strategic reasons, it may be a preparatory step towards four states’ elections.
However, the transformation was needed for the country in view of the agricultural crisis. In a nutshell, what was spelt out in the economic survey 2014-15, is being implemented through the budget and the Finance Ministry is right in preparing the budget, he added.
‘No relief to rubber growers’
District In-charge Minister B Ramanath Rai has said the budget has failed to provide relief to rubber growers who are in distress following a steep fall in the price of rubber. There are no new schemes for agriculture sector either. The BJP had spoken against MGNREGS, Aadhaar and cleanliness drive started by the UPA government in the past. However, now the NDA government has given statutory status to Aadhaar. By placing the statistics in the budget, the government is trying to mislead the people, he criticised.