New Delhi, February 02, 2018: Budget 2018 is heavily inclined towards reducing rural stress that has been steadily building up due to low crop prices, high input costs and crop losses due to unforeseen events. Introducing assured MSP of 1.5x of cost of production for all Kharif crops will help farmers get decent remunerations for their efforts. It may however have inflationary effect in food prices in retail and may correspondingly affect food affordability and nutritional access. Rs 3 lac Cr allocation to Mudra Scheme, though less than Rs 4.6 lac Cr loan disbursement in FY17 and reduction of corporate tax for firms with less than 250 Cr turnover in FY17 is a welcome step. Rural livelihood and skill development has been accorded importance.

Digital India has been given a fillip with initiatives like expansion of broadband connectivity, WiFi, e-portals, smart cities, smart classrooms and proposal to undergo research in AI and block-chain. Startup India will get a boost with the proposed rationalisation of policies to ease business for VC firms and angel investors promised by the government.

Hospitality has not been accorded long awaited infrastructure status which is a dampener. Nothing was discussed about GST issues either. Hopefully, GST council will take the call for easing taxation policies on travel, stay and dining. Additionally 13 thematic circuits, 10 pilgrimage cities and 110 ASI maintained monuments will be developed as tourism destinations. Air and road connectivity is expected to improve with connectivity provision for 56 unserved airports and 31 heliports, 5 fold increase in capacity handling of 124 airports under AAI and road connectivity expansion under Bharat Mala programme. Hospitality industry stands to benefit from such improvements.”

Corporate Comm India (CCI Newswire)

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