Mr S C Ralhan, President, FIEO.

Ludhiana, February 1, 2017: Hailing the Union Budget limiting revenue deficit to 2.1% of GDP and pegging fiscal deficit for 2017-18 at 3.2%, while focusing on rural India and infrastructure, Mr S C Ralhan, President, FIEO said that the budget has drawn a road map for bringing economy back on track and accelerating it in medium term. The investment of close to Rs.4.00 lacs crore in the infrastructure encompassing road, railways, aviation would not only improve competitiveness of manufacturing and exports sector but would reduce the logistics cost of exports as well.

President, FIEO said that while Trade Related Infrastructure Scheme is welcomed, it would require sufficient funding to make an impact. The MSME sector with a turnover of upto Rs.50 crore will get a boost with reduction in income tax, while SEZs may draw a consolation in carry forward of MAT from 10 years to 15 years.

A status quo in service tax and excise duty (with few aberrations) is indicative of the fact that we are on our course to introduce Goods & Services Tax in this fiscal, observed FIEO Chief.

While expressing his satisfaction with reduction in Current Account Deficit from 1% to 0.3% during April-Sept,2016, Mr Ralhan said that while these figures are impressive, yet he would have been much happy if CAD would have been brought to these levels with increasing exports.

The global challenges highlighted in the Union Budget requires us to be on our toes and revisit our strategy to push exports in such volatile global conditions. Mr Ralhan expressed his disappointment as aggressive marketing strategy through an Export Development Fund did not see the light of the day.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017