The finance minister has provided the right medicine for generating growth, domestic demand, innovation, entrepreneurship and urbanisation for India. This budget will work as a catalyst for economic resurgence in the country. From Manipur to Tumkur and from fishermen to young entrepreneurs, everyone has something to gain from this budget. Rarely has such a pragmatic budget been presented which balances the needs of the short term and the long term.
The reduction in excise duty on processed food will encourage the growth of processed and value-added food products – something that has the potential to transform the agriculture and consumption sector in the country. The finance minister's keenness to get into the details is evident in the fact that he has correctly identified that footwear attracts one of the highest levels of indirect taxes among consumption goods and he has provided some relief by reducing the excise duty on footwear worn by the masses.
Over 4 crore income tax payers will have more money in their pocket and this again has the potential to generate higher consumption, thereby creating more opportunities for manufacturing, job creation and growth. The intent to open up the insurance sector to higher foreign investment and the steps taken towards increasing financial inclusion and social security will have a very positive, long term impact on the lives of our countrymen.
The FM also showed his commitment towards implementation of GST. The introduction of Goods and Services Tax can bring in increased efficiency, speed and modernisation in the country's logistics segment for consumer goods. It will help reduce cost as well as improve tax compliance and collection for the government. It will also be of huge benefit for the all companies in the consumer goods sector and we will be keenly watching how and when the honourable minister is able to implement it.
Creating the Rs 10,000 crore corpus for funding new entrepreneurs is among the most pragmatic steps of the government and marks the fundamental shift in thinking that the new government is bringing in towards boosting entrepreneurship in the country. Entrepreneurship, coupled with the government's stated focus on the youth and skill development, digitization and good governance will create the building blocks of India tomorrow.
For the first time since Independence, we have a government which is focusing on building Indian cities – that attracts lakhs of Indians every year. The budget's long term emphasis on smart cities, urban renewal, industrial clusters and corridors and infrastructure development builds the foundation for creating a more developed, modern and happier India.