Finance Minister M Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister M Nirmala Sitharaman

Mumbai: Finance Minister M Nirmala Sitharaman, in order to boost the industry and commerce amidst present economic slowdown, has proposed an allocation of Rs 27,300 crore for its development. She has announced the establishment of Investment Clearance Cell to provide end-to-end facilitation, support and information on land banks.

Sitharaman said the government will soon release the National Logistics Policy and create the single window e-logistics market. Further, Project Preparation Facility will be set up for preparation of infrastructure projects, actively involving young engineers and management graduates. The government will introduce a scheme focussed on encouraging manufacture of mobile phones, electronic equipment and semiconductor packaging.

Confederation of Indian Industry President Vikram Kirloskar observed that the budget presented amidst a slowdown, both in the domestic and global economy, continued the slew of bold reforms that the government has initiated since August lat year. ''CII expects the reform process to continue beyond the budget announcements,'' he noted.

Sitharaman also announced the introduction of National Technical Textiles Mission with a four-year implementation period, with an outlay of Rs 1,480 crore. To achieve higher export credit, a new scheme being launched which provides higher insurance cover, reduced premium for small exporters and simplified procedure for claim settlements.

PwC Leader M&A Tax Hiten Kotak whilst the direction is clear to eliminate tax harassment and simplify taxes, whether it would provide the necessary impetus and optimism in the economy only time would tell. ''FM has announced the elimination of Dividend Distribution Tax which was industry's long standing demand. ''DDT was as an additional cost for repatriation of dividends from Indian companies. Hence, the acquisition of holding company or investment in Indian operating entity by foreign companies was expensive. Further, the foreign companies would also be able to take credit of withholding taxes on dividend paid in India,'' he said.

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