Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman urged the private sector to increase investments in India leveraging on the opportunities created by the high capital expenditure by the government.
Referring to the Union Budget 2022-23 focus on increasing the capital expenditure, Sitharaman said, “the strategy has two goals; one to support the economic revival and recovery as we build the infrastructure of the 21st century for a modern India and the other to gain from the multiplier effect and crowd in private investments.”
Urging the private sector to support the virtuous cycle of growth and to invest, she said that investment opportunities abound. The Government has extended the benefit of lower corporate tax rate to new manufacturing units by one more year, till March 2024. There are many sunrise sectors where India has taken the lead, such as vaccines, genomics, space, atomic energy etc. India has proven its prowess in adoption of digital and the start-ups are an enabling force for innovation and new ideas.
“The corporate sector should not lose this opportunity for higher growth,” Sitharaman said at a post-budget interaction organised by the industry body CII.
Speaking on the issue of rural distress, she explained that the same was being addressed in multiple ways. The budget has enabled access to tractors and other farm equipment through rentals as well as making credit available. The Government has ensured the availability of nutrients and fertilisers at affordable prices, despite the increase in global prices. Multiple welfare schemes have provided support for housing, cooking gas, electricity, healthcare etc.
Responding to the lower allocation to MNREGA as compared to the revised estimates of last year, she clarified that the budget allocation this year has been pegged at the allocation last year, and as the scheme is a demand-driven scheme, the higher allocation would be provided as per the demand.
Responding to industry suggestions, the Finance Minister acknowledged the need to be watchful of the increases in interest rates in developed countries and the high commodity prices. She welcomed the industry’s suggestion of a regular dialogue on some of these external challenges.
On the privatization of the two public sector banks and one general insurance company, as suggested in last year’s Budget, she said that the Government is committed to taking forward the announced privatisations.