The Budget statement by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced several changes to the effect of putting together a positive and progressive financial plan aimed to set the Indian economy on a faster growth trajectory.
With the objective to stimulate a favourable environment for the economy, the Budget is surely expected to boost the consumer durable sector.
While the most ambitious project 'Make in India' will lead to growth and investment opportunities leading to job creation in the country, the steps outlined in most recent announcement will definitely put India on the journey towards becoming a global manufacturing hub by 2022.
Also, the simplification in the tax regime will definitely help in creating an investor friendly environment and is a major step towards making India a 'manufacturing powerhouse'.
To start with, the implementation of the uniform Goods and Service Tax (GST) from April 1, 2016 is a very encouraging step and will surely create a conducive economic environment for businesses across sectors. It will also bring down the total incidence of taxes by eliminating cascading effect of taxes on goods and services.
Another positive move in this direction is the reduction in the rate of income tax on royalty and fees for technical services which will help achieve greater heights in technology sector.
In line with the new government's 'Make in India' vision, the reduction of customs duty on certain inputs, raw materials, inter mediates and components in 22 items including, Magnetron, Organic LED (OLED) TV, LCD/ LED TV, components for use in the manufacturing tablet computers etc. compliments the roadmap of realising the need of improving the business environment leading to a transparent tax system.
Also, the exemption in Special Additional Duty to address the problem of CENVAT credit accumulation will encourage multinational companies for manufacturing in India.
Another key highlight of the budget is the focus on facilitating the 'ease of doing business' in India with reduction in corporate tax from 30% to 25% planned over the next four years, starting from the next financial year.
To this effect, we really appreciate the government's intent to move from 'minimum government and maximum governance.' The emphasis on the proposed "Digital India" programme by ensuring Broadband connectivity at village level will also support and fuel growth in the digital space.
To conclude, this Budget is quite optimistic with a clear roadmap ahead and will be quite interesting to track the objective it lays out for the consumer electronics industry in future. We will continue to extend our support to work with the Union government towards achieving our vision of a progressive nation.
(The author is President-CEAMA and Managing Director-Panasonic India & South Asia)