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Budget will Boost Social Sectors, Revive Farming, Industrial Growth, Says IMC

Indian Merchants’ Chamber has called the Union Budget 2008-09, a welfare budget, which is also designed to provide growth thrust to all social sectors like education and healthcare, to improve the lot of farmers in rural areas, to provide income-tax relief to common man, especially the vulnerable sections like senior citizens, while simultaneously attempting to stem the declining trend in the growth of manufacturing and services.

“We compliment the Union Finance Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram for trying to successfully address a whole range of issues facing the country. To call the far-reaching measures announced by him as yet another pre-election exercise is being ungenerous and unfair,” Mr. Niraj Bajaj, President of Indian Merchants’ Chamber, said in a press release issued today.

The announcement of farmers’ debt relief to the tune of over Rs. 60,000/- crore was in line with demands raised by all political parties in the Country. But more emphasis could have been given to make agriculture truly viable.

Also, the reduction in excise duty across the board and customs duty rates on certain raw materials has come as a tonic, which would help revive the declining growth rate in the manufacturing sector.

Mr. P. Chidambaram’s announcement of withdrawal of banking transaction tax and also dividend tax on holding companies was in the right direction.” Indeed, many of us expected the removal of surcharge on corporate tax or reduction in dividend distribution tax. But, alas, it did not happen; and we will wait for it to happen another day,” Mr. Bajaj said.

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