Friday, Dec 02, 2022
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Win Some, Lose Some

Buffeted by recessionary trends, industry hoped a lot from the Budget. But it was a mixed bag.

Win Some, Lose Some
Win Some, Lose Some
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Like every Budget, Budget 99 has left in its wake many happy businessmen and several desolate ones. But the reason this time around is not that the finance minister has provided sops to some industries and not to others. Instead, the varied reactions stem from the fact that Yashwant Sinha has steered clear of sops to any specific industry. He has, rather, opted for standardisation and transparency in duty structures, and helping along industrial growth through enabling measures at two ends of the industry spectrum: housing, which is both labour-and capital-intensive and has a ripple effect on a range of industries, and the stockmarkets, which could give industry access to cheaper capital.

Those looking for specific reliefs are angry. "Budget 99 is totally disappointing and inflationary," says V.M. Raval, executive director, Telco. "The commercial vehicle segment has performed badly due to lack of demand. The higher excise will fin-ish it off totally." Last year, growth for the automobile industry dipped by 14 per cent. Now 1999-2000 too looks depressing. Indeed, there were strong rumours that Budget 99 would cut excise on passenger cars by 30 per cent. Instead, the readjustment of slabs has raised excise on multi-utility vehicles, passenger cars and commercial vehicles by one percentage point. Add to that higher diesel prices. Complains Raval: "Input costs have gone up; steel, components and capital goods are more expensive. It looks like a systematic attempt to kill this industry." Escorts chairman Rajan Nanda agrees: "This is a budget of words, not deeds." Adds a lot from the Budget. But it was a mixed bag.

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