Budget.. Image Source: IANS News

Kolkata, Feb 1 : Bengal inc on Saturday hailed the Budget presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, particularly lauding the steps to boost agriculture, rationalise personal income tax and give fillip to infrastructure.

N.H. Bhansali, CEO, Finance, Strategy & Business Development, and CFO, Emami Limited, called the Budget balanced.

"Looking at the current market scenario, where growth has slowed down, the focus is on stimulating growth rather than fiscal discipline. Accordingly, the Finance Minister has announced many steps for furtherance of agriculture, commerce, industry, services and exports.

"Withdrawal of DDT and relaxation of FPI norms are welcome steps to boost investor confidence. This should also result in building consumer confidence gradually over a period of time.

"Overall, this Budget appears to be balanced with no big immediate impact on the current state of economy," said Bhansali.

Sanjiv Goenka, Chairman, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, said the Finance Minister's resolve to double Indian farmers' income by 2022 was 'courageous'.

"Equally encouraging is her commitment to provide Rs 99,000 crore for education. Another courageous step is the simplification of the Income Tax Act. Its implications will be clearer only when further details are available," said Goenka.

He also thanked Sitharaman for the decision to raise the insurance coverage of bank deposits from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh and slashing the income tax rates.

Harshavardhan Neotia, Chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group, said that notwithstanding the limited fiscal headroom available, the Finance Minister has tried to address many of the issues confronting the economy.

"There has been an effort to rationalise personal income tax so as to make some additional money available in the hands of the common man, with the hope that it would push consumption," said Neotia.

He also welcomed the announcement of significant investments in infrastructure and agriculture sectors, which in turn had led to relaxing fiscal deficit target.

"This is expected to provide the much-needed investment push to catalyse the economy," said the industrialist.

He also expressed happiness over the many references in the Budget speech giving due importance to the role of entrepreneurs and wealth creators.

"This will go a long way towards bridging the perceived trust deficit between the tax authorities, the government and the business community," he added.

B.B. Chatterjee, President of The Bengal Chamber, called the Budget "aspirational", focusing on boosting demand and consumption through tax relief, particularly DDT, spurring investment through corporate measures and deepening infrastructure and agriculture led spending.

"Notwithstanding the possible breach of fiscal deficit target while trying to boost exports, The Bengal Chamber rates the Budget 6/10," said Chatterjee.

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