USISPF hails ‘measured and pragmatic budget’ presented by Sitharaman

Praising Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for presenting a budget that allows the government to continue supporting development while keeping an eye on the budget deficit, the head of a major US business advocacy group focused on India described it as a “measured and pragmatic budget”.

Finance Minister Sitharaman unveiled a budget of Rs 39.45 lakh crore, with higher spending on highways to affordable housing to launch key engines of the economy to support a global post-pandemic recovery.

While she initiated infrastructure spending to create jobs and stimulate economic activity, Sitharaman did not change income tax brackets or tax rates.

Its budget for the financial year starting April 2022 proposed a massive 35% increase in capital expenditure to Rs 7.5 lakh crore, coupled with the streamlining of customs duties, an extension of the deadline for setting up new manufacturing enterprises and plans to launch a digital currency. and taxing crypto assets.

“The first principle is do no harm and the government has stuck to that – there are no major policy changes, which is good in the current scenario. I call it a measured and pragmatic budget. There was enormous pressure on the government to do more given the upcoming state elections,” Mukesh Aghi, chairman of the US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF), said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Aghi said there was also unspoken acknowledgment in the budget that the coronavirus and inflation are still not behind us.

“We are delighted to see the 35% increase in the capital expenditure budget, which will support investments in critical infrastructure needed to expand businesses and create jobs, as well as investments in public health. and well-being,” he noted.

The USISPF chief also praised the support for “manufacturing through PLI programs and investments in solar technology and other green infrastructure, which fits perfectly with the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. “and in India’s willingness to lead the fight against climate change”.

Sitharaman on Tuesday proposed to increase funding under the PLI scheme for manufacturing domestic solar cells and modules to Rs 24,000 crore from the existing Rs 4,500 crore to make India an exporting nation.

“This budget charts a credible course, and we applaud the government’s firm policy to revive and continue the growth path of the Indian economy,” Aghi said.