The Madras Chamber lauded the Union budget for FY 2015-16 for its  focus on enabling inclusive growth even while consolidating the fiscal position of the government,  its accent on the social sectors (particularly healthcare and financial inclusion), and on the efforts to curtail black money and improve governance.

Although the budget was devoid of any big bang announcements, the budget catered to all constituents, including corporate and MSMEs, domestic and international investors.

“Corporatization of Ports is a good attempt to bring professionalism and increased efficiency to compete with the privately owned ports”, says Mr. Shivaraman, immediate past president Madras Chamber. “The higher allocation for infrastructure and introduction of tax free infra bonds, increase in threshold limit for domestic transfer pricing, deferring GAAR, monetization of gold are all welcome moves,” he says. “ there are some clear signals of moving towards  the much talked about ease of doing business, like setting up a panel to consolidate and simplify laws, digitalization of returns , regulatory reforms in infrastructure and mention about preclearance for major projects like power , roadways etc provide some signs of hope , but implementation is critical “ he points out.“The easing of ESI and EPF rules and the extension of timelines for CENVAT credits, reduction of customs duty on select products though small measures, will help at the ground level” he says. The indication that GST would be in place by April 2016 is a trigger of hope.

Mr. Raghuttama Rao, General Committee Member, MCCI and MD, IMaCS, stated “what should be appreciated in this budget is a clear move towards strengthening the institutional structure, that would help in improved governance and improved business and investment climate. The move towards establishing a comprehensive Bankruptcy code, Setting up a Public Debt Management Agency, merging of FMC with SEBI, undertaking regulatory reforms to improve, setting up a sector agnostic Grievance Agency for financial redressal, and setting up an Unified National market for Agriculture are some examples “.  He also sees a decisive resolve on part of the government in terms of  strengthening the financial sector through several useful measures such as bringing in harmony between large NBFCs and banks in terms of the SARFAESI Act, setting up a specialized bank for MSMEs by way of MUDRA, nudging the Post Office to become a nationwide Payments Bank, providing a stimulus to the infrastructure finance by setting up a National Infrastructure Fund, monetizing gold through the proposed Gold bonds scheme etc.

On the flip side the Chamber feels that though there is a lot of talk on Make in India, there is no clear cut measures to incentivize the manufacturing sector. Also the increase in service tax to 14 % , though on expected lines, could be inflationary in the short run.

28th February, 2015

Secretary General
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