New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS): Industry body FICCI on Wednesday congratulated Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for delivering a balanced and progressive Union Budget for 2023-24, which gives primacy to inclusive growth.
"The announcements made today capture the pulse of the economy while retaining credibility both in terms of projections as well as committing to the fiscal consolidation glide path. Most importantly, a historic outlay for public capex is a continuation of the heaving lifting since the time of the pandemic and will have a multiplier effect across myriad sectors of the economy besides crowding in private investment," said Subhrakant Panda, President, FICCI.
He added that a push to investment and consumption was required to keep the growth cycle in motion.
"We are happy to note that the government has continued the thrust on capital expenditure with a 33 per cent increase in the capital outlay to Rs 10 lakh crore representing 3.3 per cent of the GDP," he said.
Panda said it is a step in the right direction amid a global economic situation which is still not at ease. Moreover, the revision in tax rates under the new tax regime will also augur well on the consumption side, he said.
"We also compliment the government on meeting the fiscal deficit target for the current financial year despite persisting uncertainty; this lends credibility to the Budget. Moreover, by projecting a 5.9 per cent fiscal deficit for 2023-24 and reiterating the commitment to bring it below 4.5 per cent by 2025-26, the Finance Minister has instilled confidence that growth remains a priority without compromising on fiscal consolidation," said Panda.
He said that the announcements made on Wednesday will further strengthen the fundamental pillars and ensure resilience, inclusivity and sustainability.
Panda said that the government is committed to ensuring manufacturing competitiveness, ease of doing business, reducing compliance touch points, and supporting livelihoods across sections.
Panda went on to say that even as India offers a ray of hope in the current global context, "we are not decoupled from the rest of the world".
"The support contained in the budget for the MSME sector is welcome. The revamped credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs will benefit from an infusion of Rs 9,000 crore, enabling credit flow of Rs 2 lakh crore with a 1 per cent lower cost. In addition, the move from an accrual based payment system to a cash based one has been a long standing demand from FICCI and will ensure that MSMEs don't suffer as a result of delayed payments," Panda said.
The Union Budget reflects a nimble-footed and agile approach to keep India on the growth path, he said.