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Trade bodies hail �pro-growth� Interim Budget

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 1 - Terming the Union Interim Budget 2019-20 �pro-growth and inclusive� with a strong focus on social and physical infrastructure creation, the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) today said the North East has received a significant 21 per cent hike in budgetary allocation and an assurance of infrastructural developmental initiatives in inland waterways and connectivity.

�With universal electrification and digital connectivity, rural India is destined to generate the next growth wave of employment generation and the North East is slated to be the new growth hub of India. The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi that will be effective from December 1, 2018, will assist small and marginal farmers of the region. The promised Rs 6,000 per year for farmers owning up to two hectares of land will help provide structured income support to poor landholders to procure seeds, machinery and other input requirements,� it said.

It added that assured income flow and interest rate subventions would aid the farmers of the region to deal with the seasonality of income and risks from natural calamities. It will also support allied sector activities in agriculture, leading to value addition.

On the impact on the MSME sector, it said interest subvention and mandatory government procurement would aid in improving working capital flow and market creation for MSMEs. The MSME sector in the North East should enhance its capacity to manufacture and deliver competitive goods to take advantage of the scheme.

It also welcomed the mega pension scheme for the unorganised sector that aims to provide an assured pension of Rs 3,000 per month to people whose monthly income is below Rs 15,000.

It said the relief to the middle class salaried individual taxpayers with an annual income of up to Rs 5 lakh would �undoubtedly augment the disposable income of the salaried class and will boost aggregate demand in the economy�.

On real estate, ICC said the announcements would facilitate positive growth for the sector, which has high employment generating potential.

Federation of Industry and Commerce of North Eastern Region (FINER) said the interim budget would mainly provide benefit to the unorganised sectors, farmers and the middle class.

�The government�s focus on the development of the North East is also reflected in the budget with an increase in fund allocation for the region by 21 per cent compared to the previous year�s,� FINER said.

It added that the MSME and real estate sectors would also benefit a lot.

FICCI North East Advisory Council in its budget reaction termed the focus on rural empowerment a very welcome step, which would go a long way in leveraging the strengths of rural India.

�The Direct Income Support scheme to small farmers will be particularly beneficial for farmers in the North East where land holdings are small compared to other parts of the scheme,� it said in a statement.

It also welcomed the focus on infrastructure, saying �the increase in allocation for the North East by 21 per cent is particularly welcome�.

While welcoming the decision to rename DIPP as the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, it hoped that the department would take necessary steps to issue the detailed guidelines for the North East Industrial Development Scheme which was announced last year.

FICCI Assam State Council said the clear focus on the agriculture sector, particularly the small and marginal farmers, the middle class, senior citizens, small-savers and workers in the unorganised sector would go a long way in furthering the vision of inclusive growth in the country.

The budgetary support of Rs 480 crore to the regional connectivity scheme during the interim budget of 2019-20 will also help improve connectivity and the North East stands to gain substantially as a number of airports in the region are going to be connected under the UDAN scheme, it added.

Hailing the budget, AREIDA president PK Sharma said there were numerous provisions in the budget, which directly and indirectly support the real estate industry.

�Section 80IBA extension by one more year up to 2020 would boost affordable housing. Formal recognition in the budget to reduce GST burden on homebuyers based on GOM recommendations is a matter of satisfaction for the real estate industry,� he said.

Stating that increasing the TDS on rental income threshold to Rs 2.4 lakh would make real estate an attractive investment option, Sharma said allowing two years exemption after completion certificate from notional rent on unsold inventory for promoters is a major support to the real estate sector.

�Income tax exemption from interest on home loans increased from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh would benefit home buyers and further incentivise home buying. Both buyers and sellers of real estate have reasons to be happy,� he added.

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Trade bodies hail �pro-growth� Interim Budget

GUWAHATI, Feb 1 - Terming the Union Interim Budget 2019-20 �pro-growth and inclusive� with a strong focus on social and physical infrastructure creation, the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) today said the North East has received a significant 21 per cent hike in budgetary allocation and an assurance of infrastructural developmental initiatives in inland waterways and connectivity.

�With universal electrification and digital connectivity, rural India is destined to generate the next growth wave of employment generation and the North East is slated to be the new growth hub of India. The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi that will be effective from December 1, 2018, will assist small and marginal farmers of the region. The promised Rs 6,000 per year for farmers owning up to two hectares of land will help provide structured income support to poor landholders to procure seeds, machinery and other input requirements,� it said.

It added that assured income flow and interest rate subventions would aid the farmers of the region to deal with the seasonality of income and risks from natural calamities. It will also support allied sector activities in agriculture, leading to value addition.

On the impact on the MSME sector, it said interest subvention and mandatory government procurement would aid in improving working capital flow and market creation for MSMEs. The MSME sector in the North East should enhance its capacity to manufacture and deliver competitive goods to take advantage of the scheme.

It also welcomed the mega pension scheme for the unorganised sector that aims to provide an assured pension of Rs 3,000 per month to people whose monthly income is below Rs 15,000.

It said the relief to the middle class salaried individual taxpayers with an annual income of up to Rs 5 lakh would �undoubtedly augment the disposable income of the salaried class and will boost aggregate demand in the economy�.

On real estate, ICC said the announcements would facilitate positive growth for the sector, which has high employment generating potential.

Federation of Industry and Commerce of North Eastern Region (FINER) said the interim budget would mainly provide benefit to the unorganised sectors, farmers and the middle class.

�The government�s focus on the development of the North East is also reflected in the budget with an increase in fund allocation for the region by 21 per cent compared to the previous year�s,� FINER said.

It added that the MSME and real estate sectors would also benefit a lot.

FICCI North East Advisory Council in its budget reaction termed the focus on rural empowerment a very welcome step, which would go a long way in leveraging the strengths of rural India.

�The Direct Income Support scheme to small farmers will be particularly beneficial for farmers in the North East where land holdings are small compared to other parts of the scheme,� it said in a statement.

It also welcomed the focus on infrastructure, saying �the increase in allocation for the North East by 21 per cent is particularly welcome�.

While welcoming the decision to rename DIPP as the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, it hoped that the department would take necessary steps to issue the detailed guidelines for the North East Industrial Development Scheme which was announced last year.

FICCI Assam State Council said the clear focus on the agriculture sector, particularly the small and marginal farmers, the middle class, senior citizens, small-savers and workers in the unorganised sector would go a long way in furthering the vision of inclusive growth in the country.

The budgetary support of Rs 480 crore to the regional connectivity scheme during the interim budget of 2019-20 will also help improve connectivity and the North East stands to gain substantially as a number of airports in the region are going to be connected under the UDAN scheme, it added.

Hailing the budget, AREIDA president PK Sharma said there were numerous provisions in the budget, which directly and indirectly support the real estate industry.

�Section 80IBA extension by one more year up to 2020 would boost affordable housing. Formal recognition in the budget to reduce GST burden on homebuyers based on GOM recommendations is a matter of satisfaction for the real estate industry,� he said.

Stating that increasing the TDS on rental income threshold to Rs 2.4 lakh would make real estate an attractive investment option, Sharma said allowing two years exemption after completion certificate from notional rent on unsold inventory for promoters is a major support to the real estate sector.

�Income tax exemption from interest on home loans increased from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh would benefit home buyers and further incentivise home buying. Both buyers and sellers of real estate have reasons to be happy,� he added.