Budget aims at a big boost to `Make in India'

The Union Budget for 2017-18 presented by finance minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament on Monday, incorporates several measures to boost commerce and industry.

Commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman has welcomed the budget, which provides renewed impetus to manufacturing and `Make in India', export infrastructure and government e-marketplace.

The budget proposes various measures to make local manufacturing more viable especially in sectors like leather, textiles and apparels, electronics, infrastructure and tourism.

Presenting the Union Budget for 2017-18, finance minister Arun Jaitley announced a special scheme for creating employment in leather and footwear industries, which would be implemented on the lines of the scheme in textile and apparel sector.

The finance minister also accepted the long-standing demand of startups and the profit-linked deduction exemption available to them for 3 years out of 5 years has been changed to 3 years out of 7 years. For the purpose of carry forward of losses in respect of start-ups, the condition of continuous holding of 51 per cent of voting rights has been relaxed subject to the condition that the holding of the original promoter/promoters continues.

Further liberalisation of FDI policy is under consideration and the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to be abolished in 2017-18.

In order to make MSME companies more viable, income tax for companies with annual turnover up to Rs50 crore is reduced to 25 per cent. About 96 per cent of companies will get this benefit of lower taxation. This will make the MSME sector more competitive vis--vis large companies.

The budget allows MAT credit to be carried forward up to a period of 15 years instead of 10 years at present.

For creating an eco-system to make India a global hub for electronics manufacturing the budget makes a provision of Rs745 crore in 2017-18 in incentive schemes like M-SIPS and EDF. The incentives and allocation has been exponentially increased following the increase in number of investment proposals.

Inverted duty has been rectified in several products in the chemicals and petrochemicals, textiles, metals, renewable energy sectors.

The budget also announced duty changes to improve domestic manufacturing of medical devices, those used for digital transactions and capital goods.

Infrastructure, a key pillar under the `Make in India' programme, has been strengthened with a large budgetary allocation. The total allocation for infrastructure development in 2017-18 stands at Rs3,96,135 crore. A specific programme for development of multi-modal logistics parks, together with multi modal transport facilities, to be drawn up and implemented.

Tourism is a big employment generator and has a multiplier impact on the economy. Incredible India 2.0 is proposed to be launched to promote tourism and employment. Five Special Tourism Zone, anchored on SPVs in partnership with the states would be set up.

Besides modernisation and upgradation of identified corridor, railway lines of 3,500 km will be commissioned, 25 stations are expected to be awarded for station redevelopment and 500 stations will be made differently abled friendly by providing lifts and escalators during 2017-18. These provide large opportunities under the `Make in India' initiative.

The budget also proposes initiatives in skill development that would provide essential support for the `Make in India' sectors to thrive. The SANKALP scheme proposed to be launched in the new fiscal will provide market relevant training to 35 million youth while the STRIVE scheme will help improve quality and market relevance of vocational training.

A new and restructured central scheme with a focus on export infrastructure, namely, Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES), will be launched in 2017-18.

The government e-market place, which is now functional for procurement of goods and services, has been selected as one of the winners of the South Asia Procurement Innovation Awards of the World Bank.