New Delhi: Business leaders watch the telecast of the presentation of Union Budget 2019 by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha; at CII in New Delhi on July 5, 2019. . Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, July 5 : Hailing the Union Budget 2019-20 as "transformational", industry leaders on Friday said it offers a lot for farmers and the common man.

Speaking to IANS, Vineet Agarwal, Managing Director, Transport Corporation of India Limited (TCIL) said the Budget is encouraging for farmers and offers affordable housing to the people.

"The Budget is nice for farmers as there is encouragement in various fields, including agricultural entrepreneurship. This is also nice for the common man as it is talking about affordable housing," Agarwal, also Vice-President, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), said.

Calling the Budget "transformational", Balkrishan Goenka, Group Chairman, Welspun Group and President, ASSOCHAM said the Budget is good for farmers as it talks about agriculture infrastructure.

"One of the main issues before the farmers is lack of infrastructure. There is no proper infrastructure for food grains. The Budget is good for farmers from this point of view," he told IANS.

He also said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's maiden budget is a mega investment-oriented initiative with a strong focus on scaling up rural infrastructure and demand along with a slew of tax simplification measures, aimed at boosting growth, and maintaining a high level of fiscal discipline.

At an interactive session organised by ASSOCHAM, Goenka said the Budget is aimed at taking the Indian economy to USD five trillion by 2025.

He said, in the Budget, the government has focused on affordable housing with higher tax benefits to end users, start ups, sustainable development, and 'Make in India'.

It also gives a firm assurance of ease of living for common citizens and businesses by tax authorities, he added.

"The initiatives like e-assessment, inter-changeability of PAN and Aadhaar, and digital payments would make a big difference to tax payers.

"Likewise, the increase in the threshold for lower corporate tax of 25 per cent to Rs 400 crore annual turnover would encourage higher investment which would also get a boost from proposals like further liberalisation of FDI norms in sectors like insurance intermediaries and aviation," Goenka said.

He said the roadmap for a huge investment in railways with the involvement of the private sector would create a spillover for several sectors.

"Besides the low-hanging areas of tourism wherein several iconic sites are being identified would lead to immediate gains," he added.

The ASSOCHAM President also said the next phases of affordable housing and national highway projects should also be growth drivers.

"The disinvestment target of Rs 1.05 lakh crore along with the commitment to disinvest Air India would be good efforts to enhance the fiscal stability with fiscal deficit being pegged lower at 3.7 per cent of GDP. Likewise, the re-capitalisation of the public sector banks by Rs 70,000 crore should increase lending including to the stressed sectors of the economy."
Goenka further said the focus on 'Make in India' is visible as also emphasis on sustainable development by measures like electric vehicles and renewable energy.

"Boost to high-technology manufacturing like semi-conductor and commercialisation of space technologies are innovative measures. Overall, it is a business-like Budget taking into the account the ground reality. The gains would be visible in a sustained manner," Goenka said.

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