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Budget 2023-24 road map for nation building: ASSOCHAM

New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) on Wednesday said the Union Budget 2023-24 is a roadmap of nation building with continued focus on massive public expenditure on infrastructure, sustainable economic growth, encouraging consumption demand while staying on course of strict fiscal prudence.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier on Wednesday presented the Budget in the Parliament.

According to Sumant Sinha, the president of ASSOCHAM, 30 per cent jump in the capital expenditure to Rs 10 lakh crore clearly demonstrates the government resolve to help India remain the fastest growing economy in the world, despite global headwinds

“The Centre is also incentivising the states to increase their capital spend as well on public infrastructure, taking the effective Centre’s capital investment to Rs 13.7 lakh crore or 4.5 per cent of the GDP,” he said.

Deepak Sood, the Secretary General of ASSOCHAM described the Budget for 2023-24 a growth-oriented as it navigates the global storm with a bold, focussed and people-centric approach incentivising the middle class to spend more through income tax relief, private sector to crowd in investment along with the government’s large spend and ease of doing business.

“The Budget delivers a perfect 10 upon 10 when it comes to maintaining prudence, keeping the path of fiscal prudence with a fiscal deficit of 5.9 per cent of the GDP in a trying global economic environment,” said Sood.

He said the Budget continues with a thrust on ‘Make in India’ encouraging value addition through customs rationalisation while remaining committed to further improving Ease of Doing Business.

The chamber which has been seeking relief to the MSMEs expressed gratitude to the government for giving several incentives to the small businesses and the start-ups.

“The extension of the credit guarantee scheme for the MSMEs without collaterals, with a Budget provision of Rs 9,000 crore would give additional strength to the MSMEs to be at par with the large corporates. It would enable collateral-free guaranteed credit of Rs 2 lakh crore with a reduced cost of credit of one per cent. This is a big relief to the MSMEs,” said the ASSOCHAM.

“The boost to the housing sector through PM Awas Yojna would have a positive spin off while the farm sector has committed public investment to the Agriculture Accelerator Fund and specific programmes for the animal husbandry, and fisheries,” it said.

“This budget reinforces the growth vision set by the government last year and will help the country continue its journey on the growth path,” the ASSOCHAM added.