Union Budget 2023-24 good for Inclusive Growth in Northeastern Region, says FICCI Northeast Advisory Council

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Agartala /Guwahati, Feb 01, 2023, ENEWSTIME Desk

The FICCI Northeast Advisory Council lauded the Union Budget 2023-24 as a forward-thinking budget that prioritizes inclusive growth.

"The Budget takes a comprehensive approach to development, and the proposed investments in key areas like infrastructure, agriculture, healthcare, education, manufacturing, and digitalization are a positive step forward," said Ranjit Barthakur, Chairman of the FICCI Northeast Advisory Council.

The budget's focus on improving infrastructure, including roads, railways, ports, airports, and urban transport, is expected to drive job creation and enhance connectivity in the region. The 33.4% increase in the capital investment outlay is particularly noteworthy, according to Barthakur.

"This will be a major boost to the economy nationwide, but particularly in the Northeast where we see a significant emphasis on infrastructure. We are confident that these investments will lead to a significant improvement in the quality of life for the people in the region", he said.

Welcoming the measures aimed at boosting business activities in the GIFT City, Barthakur suggested that the government consider establishing a similar model in the Northeast with the goal of attracting business and investment from Southeast Asian countries, including the ASEAN region.

"This would give a major boost to India's Act East Policy," he said. FICCI also applauded the government's decision to extend Rs.20 lakh crore in agriculture credit, target sectors like animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries, and launch initiatives like the Horticulture Clean Plant Program to increase the production of high-value crops.

"This will provide a much-needed boost to the livelihoods of farmers in the region and help ensure food security for the country," said Barthakur and also welcomed the green initiatives outlined in the budget.

"The government's commitment to sustainable growth and reducing carbon emissions is commendable. The increased allocation for the National Clean Energy Fund and tax incentives for electric vehicles are important steps in supporting the growth of renewable energy and promoting clean technologies," he said.

 In addition, Barthakur praised the allocation for the Amrit Dharohar scheme, saying, 'Preserving our biodiversity is extremely important and wetlands are a major component of our biodiversity particularly in the Northeast'. These efforts will help in achieving the net zero target and also facilitate more green job creations in the long run, he added.

On tax proposals, Barthakur welcomed the measures to simplify tax compliance, including faceless assessment and appeal, and a higher threshold for tax audits. He said these steps would reduce the burden on businesses and boost the ease of doing business. He also appreciated the increased threshold limit for the lower tax rate under personal income tax, which will provide relief and boost consumer spending. The tax incentives for domestic value addition and increased R&D investment are expected to boost competitiveness of the manufacturing sector and create jobs in the region, he said.

The allocation for healthcare, with a focus on strengthening the primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare system and providing affordable healthcare to all citizens, has been hailed as a positive step forward.

"Improved access to healthcare services will have a positive impact on the health and well-being of the people in the region, and this is a key priority for the FICCI Northeast Advisory Council," said Barthakur.

The measures proposed to boost the manufacturing sector and increase exports, including tax incentives for domestic value addition and increased investment in research and development, are expected to create a supportive environment for the growth and competitiveness of the manufacturing sector in the region. "This will provide a much-needed boost the competitiveness and help to create a vibrant manufacturing sector," said Barthakur.