NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has taken major initiatives in the Union Budget 2018-19 to improve the Country's basic infrastructure like railways and roads along with boost to Make in India, the steps which would help to cut the transaction costs for exporters, the EEPC India Chairman Mr Ravi Sehgal said.
The overall direction of Mr Jaitley's Budget is pro-industry, especially in the SME segment along with emphasis on the rural landscape. The Finance Minister should be complimented for showing courage to include most of the sectors in a scheme that involves hiring employees with the fixed contractual tenure. The other major measures include upgrading investment on basic infrastructure like railways and roads, ports and airports. Eventually, these measures would help exporters at a time when the global market is on a pick-up,", Mr Sehgal said. He also complimented the FM for a proposal in the Commerce Ministry to have a dedicated portal for enabling the Government- exporters interface seamlessly. Such measures not only reduce the transaction cost but also bring in transparency.
However, he said in the Make in India initiative, while the emphasis is on protecting the domestic industry, "it is not clear why 20% Export duty has been levied on graphite electrode. This is contrary to the policy of the Government to give an impetus to exports. The emphasis should be on removal of inverted duty structure on the import side wherein the priority should be to have more duty on finished products while raw material should be subjected to the lowest duty structure".
The differential corporate tax for the companies up to turnover of Rs 250 crore would help the SMEs and revive their confidence.