Goa trade, industry give thumbs-up to Sitharaman's budget

Last Updated: Sat, Jul 06, 2019 14:37 hrs
Nirmala Sitharaman - Finance Minister (IANS Photo)

Panaji: Goa's trade and industry stakeholders on Friday gave a thumbs-up to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's maiden budget speech, saying that earmarking Rs 100 lakh crore for creation of infrastructure over five years would drive the country's economy and generate much-needed employment.

President of the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry Manoj Caculo told reporters that Goa's cashew nut industry stood to benefit from the increase in duty on imported cashew kernels that would boost the local cashew manufacturing industry, which the coastal state is known for.

"Prima facie we wholeheartedly welcome the budget. The amount of money which is earmarked for creation of infrastructure, Rs 100 lakh crore in five years, I think that shows the way. It is going to create jobs in the country and will drive the economy of the country, which is a very positive sign," he said.

He also said that introducing the public private partnership model to develop the Indian Railways would benefit both the government as well as the private sector and help the Indian Railways in becoming a world class facility.

Also welcoming the announcement of the model tenancy law, Caculo said that while the fine print of the model law needed to be read, such a standardised legislation would help both the leasee and the leasor and help boost the real estate sector.

"There is a clarity for the first time as far as electric vehicle sector is concerned. There is a huge incentive for manufacturers of electric vehicles as well as buyers who would get rebate on interest on the purchase of such vehicles.

"The subsidy on setting up of manufacturing plants for e-vehicles and custom duty exemption for import of parts shows that the government is serious about promoting e-vehicles," Caculo said.

The top official said that the focus on start-ups would give a boost to the nascent sector, while the announcement about recapitalisation of public sector banks would allow industry access to capital, which was hard to come by in recent years.

Commenting on the benefits which Goa would draw from the budgetary announcements, Caculo said that the increase in customs duty in imported cashew kernels would boost the state cashew nut manufacturing and processing industry.

"Increase in customs duty on cashew kernels will help Goan cashew growers. There will be fewer cashew kernels coming from outside India and it will come at a higher price giving a boost to the cashew industry in the state," he said, adding that majority of the roasted cashew nuts sold in Goa are imported from Africa.