By Arun Alagappan, President, SICCI
The Union Budget presented by Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Finance Minister prioritised growth-oriented measures while carefully balancing the fiscal considerations.On behalf of SICCI, we welcome the budget proposals, containing much-needed measures to accelerate growth in infrastructure, blue economy, agriculture& aerospace, defense and green energy sectors.
SICCI would like to commend the government’s commitment to Agriculture. The budget proposal to promote private and public investment in post-harvest activities including aggregation, modern storage, supply chains, primary and secondary processing, marketing, and branding is a step in the right direction. Also, the initiatives of promoting new-age technology products in agriculture such as Nano-DAP will play a pivotal role in bringing down the fertilizer subsidy bills and improving the farm economy.
Rightly highlighting the need for bolstering innovation in the country, the initiatives proposed in the budget for promoting research and innovation & deep technologies in the private sector are welcome. SICCI would also like to welcome the proposal for promoting climate-resilient activities for blue economy 2.0, a scheme for restoration and adaptation measures, and coastal aquaculture and mariculture with an integrated approach and the plan to set up 5 integrated aqua parks. SICCI requests for at least 2 of these parks to be set up in Tamil Nadu, which boasts of the 2nd longest coastline in India.
Infrastructure projects rightly received the needed priority under the PM Gati Shakti program for enabling multi-modal connectivity. The focus on multi-modal logistics is the need of the hour as it will improve logistics efficiency and reduce cost. Also, the PM Awaas Yojana-Grameen would help in expanding the housing program for poor and middle-income groups.
The move to target one crore households for up to 300 units of electricity every month with rooftop solarisation will greatly catalyze the renewable energy transition in India. We would like to welcome the extension of benefits of Ayushman Bharat to all ASHA and Anganwadi workers, the incremental increase of the defense outlay, and the 34 crore Mudra Yojana Loans for Women Entrepreneurs. SICCI believes these initiatives will have a transformational impact on the economy.
On the whole, this budget is growth-oriented focusing on sunrise sectors and social impact, thereby catering to the aspirations of businesses and the common public.