Business leaders watch the live telecast of the interim Budget presentation on a giant screen, during a budget viewing session at a hotel in New Delhi, on Friday. Image Credit: PTI

Abu Dhabi: Indian businessmen and leading executives in the UAE welcomed the new budget proposals and said the emphasis on agriculture and raising the tax limit will boost the economy in the longer run.

The interim budget for 2019-2020 offered direct cash support to poor farmers and allocated more funds for a rural jobs guarantee scheme and rural development like building roads and schemes, according to Reuters.

The budget proposals also reduced the burden for the middle class, by raising the income tax threshold from Rs250,000 to Rs500,000 (Dh25,863). Many of the measures were aimed at putting money into pockets quickly and boost consumer spending.

A very balanced and people friendly budget ... The move towards making India a trillion dollar economy is going to be a game changer as far as FDI is concerned.

- Yousuf Ali MA | Chairman of Lulu Group

The budget allocated Rs600 billion for a rural jobs programme and 190 billion for building of roads in the countryside.

In the current scenario, I must say a very balanced and people friendly budget, Yusuffali MA, Chairman and Managing director of Lulu Group said in a statement.

“The various reforms being brought in tax regime and banking sector is sure to make Indian economy very transparent. The move towards making India a trillion dollars economy is going to be a game changer as far as FDI is concerned.”

Tax relief sops given to a very large segment of Indian populace will surely have an impact on the coming General Election. 30 million of tax payers will benefit.

- Paras Shahdadpuri | Chairman of Nikai group

“Increase of IT (income tax) ceiling is sure to boost consumer spending which is a very welcome move as far as retail and shopping sector is concerned.”

“Needless to say the emphasis given on the agriculture, farmers welfare, infrastructure development and banking sector is going to have a very long term positive impact.”

Dr BR Shetty, founder and chairman of NMC health care also welcomed the budget and said it is progressive and forward looking and the one which lays the foundation for further impetus to the Indian economy’s growth.

“The proposal to help farmers, fisheries, animal husbandry in terms of additional support will definitely change the lives of the low-earning communities. Meanwhile increasing exemption limit for income tax up to Rs500,000 will help over 30 million people in saving on taxes.”

In his comments, Dr Ram Buxani, Chairman of International Traders (Middle East) said the income tax relief up to 500,000 rupees is a good move.

“Our interim finance minister Piyush Goyal while presenting interim budget has very successfully presented final balance sheet of the present government promising end of the term bonuses for the tax payers during concluding period.”

He, however expressed disappointment over non-inclusion of any specific proposals for the benefit of non-resident Indians (NRIs).

Bharat Bhatia, CEO of Conares, the second largest private steel manufacturer in the UAE also expressed disappointment that there were no new announcements for NRIs but commended the government for supporting farmers.

“The only announcement that stood out in the infrastructure sector is the increase in funds for the rural parts of the country. The budget has kept aside INR 19,000 crore in the next fiscal for the same. I was personally happy to note the support provided for farmers and workers in the unorganised sector in this budget.”

Paras Shahdadpuri, chairman of Nikai group of companies called the budget ‘a populist one’ and said it is aimed at winning over the Indian lower, middle class and the vast population of farmers.

“Tax relief sops given to a very large segment of Indian populace will surely have an impact on the coming General Election. 30 million of tax payers will benefit. These populist measures will certainly help in growth of consumption, thus giving push to manufacturing sector.”

Rizwan Sajan, Founder and chairman Danube Group said: “The last budget of the current BJP-led NDA government before 2019 general polls looks positive and will help to address the challenges faced by the agrarian sector, stimulate consumer demand and thus propel greater investments & higher growth.

He further added: “With simplified tax structures and an easy tax administration it would be easier and faster for brands to enter in India and generate more Business and provide employment opportunities.”

Promoth Manghat, executive director and CEO at Finablr and Group CEO at UAE exchange said, “For the most part, the 2019 interim budget can be described as an inclusive one in terms of its focus on the middle class, the rural population and the farming sector. The budget clearly seeks to stimulate domestic consumption as a means to boost economic growth and the various outlays and income tax concessions announced will be beneficial in this regard.”

Adeeb Ahmad, Managing Director, Lulu Financial Group and Twenty14 Holdings said good emphasis has been given on the agri-economy, defence spending along with infrastructure and MSMEs.

“We welcome the government’s move to add more digital villages over the next five years, as digital innovation is transforming both governance delivery and creation of breakthrough services by the private sector.”

In similar comments, Kamal Vachani, Regional Director, Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC), Group Director, Al Maya Group said a number of social schemes announced by finance minister are welcoming steps which includes assured income support scheme for small and marginal farmers, new pension scheme, etc.

Tax experts also expressed positively to the budget proposals. CA Dixit Jain, director of The Tax Experts, DMCC said, “interim budget-2019 has come as a great relief for almost every sector. Right from a farmer to taxpayer, everyone has something in it for them.”

Navin Kapoor, MD of Dubai based Xpertize United said substantial allocation for capital expenditure of over Rs3.36 trillion and Rs1.7 trillion for food security will make citizens safe and secure.