GUWAHATI, Feb 7 - The State industry bodies have hailed the budget presented today by Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma as a development-oriented one that would contribute to all-round development of the State.
Commenting on the overall impact of the budget on the industrial sector, Pabitra Buragohain, president of the Federation of Industries and Commerce of North Eastern Region (FINER), said the thrust on infrastructure development and tourism sector is a good sign for the industry sector.
�Home stay provisions for giving a boost to the tourism sector is a new and laudable initiative that would give a fillip to tourism and allied industries. Moreover, emphasis on healthcare and education makes this budget a wholesome package for all sections of people,� he said.
�The budget is also an attempt to consolidate the fiscal deficit. However, while the government�s move of additional revenue collection of Rs 400 crore through entry tax would be viable for large-scale industry, the MSME sector, which is not in a very robust state, might get affected through it,� he said.
Buragohain further said that the Ease of Doing Business Act should be implemented soon so that the industry sector can reap the benefits.
The Assam Chamber of Commerce (ACC) termed the budget as a historic one having a pro-poor approach. �The government�s commitment towards construction of new roads and bridges, and conversion of 1000 timber bridges into concrete would strengthen connectivity and give an economic boost. Development of heritage sites promoting tourism would help in revenue generation. Further, proposals like building a skill city and promoting handloom sector would help in employment generation,� ACC chairman Rupam Goswami and advisor Vijay Kumar Gupta said.
The traders body further said that business summit �Vivacious� to be held towards the end of this year would be beneficial for the business fraternity, and the Muga Mission aimed at increasing muga production by 10 times by 2026 would benefit nearly 16.5 lakh weavers and 2.75 lakh rearers.
The Assam Real Estate and Infrastructure Developers� Association (AREIDA) welcomed the budget as a positive change in the field of infrastructure development. AREIDA president PK Sharma said the budget�s emphasis on building urban infrastructure will help revival of the real estate sector.
�Making housing affordable for all sections of people by giving an additional subsidy to each beneficiary of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana from the State government, Smart City project, City Infrastructure Development Fund (CIDF), big public infrastructure project in six cities of Silchar, Tinsukia, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Nagaon and Tezpur with allocation of Rs 200 crore to each city, would definitely fuel the growth engine,� he said.
�Moreover, the housing loan assistance up to Rs 15 lakh to government employees would encourage people to invest in the housing sector, which would help the real estate market that is presently facing cash crunch,� he added.
According to Ranjit Barthakur, Chairman of FICCI, North East Advisory Council, the budget was a pragmatic one targeted at boosting the State�s long-term economic prospects. �The Minister has done a nice balancing act keeping long-term goals in mind while addressing immediate and pressing issues. The change in the format from plan-non plan to capital and revenue is also welcome,� he said.
Stressing that schemes like SVAYEM and the scheme for setting up SHGs for women will aid entrepreneurship and employment generation, he said the plan to create a functional land bank and industrial townships could be a key for promoting the industrial sector in the State.
�The Big Cities Amenities Development Fund is a welcome move and the focus on resolving artificial flooding in Guwahati through construction of RCC drains and sump wells is equally noteworthy. The tea sector has also been a focus in the budget with small tea growers being incentivised for settling of land. However, a comprehensive scheme for rejuvenation of the tea industry is the need of the hour and I hope the government will come up with more measures during the course of the year,� said Barthakur.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Assam, also hailed the budget, saying it is �Parivartan-focused� and plans inclusive growth. CII Assam State Chairman SK Barua said the emphasis on infrastructure sector is a very welcome initiate, as it is growth-oriented.
�Providing 90 per cent capital support without any ceiling and 100 per cent reimbursement of stamp duty to BPO/IT/ITES on sale or lease of deed is a big encouragement to Startup India,� he said.