Budget 2024: Companies Seek Government Intervention To Boost Rural Economy Industry leaders emphasize the need to introduce measures that would boost consumption in the rural pockets

By Shrabona Ghosh

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Union minister of finance, Nirmala Sitharaman addressing the press in a post Budget session last year

Ahead of the upcoming Union Budget 2024, companies want the government to come up with proactive measures aimed at future controlling inflation and stimulating consumption in the larger economy with a boost to rural growth. Industry leaders are keen on unlocking infrastructure development, industrial expansion and a greener future.

The FMCG sector is optimistic and looks forward to a market that is less volatile in 2024. Rural demand has been slower than expected as inflation has hit consumption. Companies emphasize the need to introduce measures that would further boost consumption in these areas, "With the higher expectation of the Rabi crop harvest, we anticipate rural demand to pick up. New policies are anticipated that safeguard the interests of oilseed farmers and the oleochemical industry while effectively addressing challenges faced by rural communities. This, in turn, will have a positive ripple effect on industries connected with rural landscapes. The thrust on capital expenditure would be welcomed, as it not only spurs economic growth but also ensures inclusive development," said Anghsu Mallick, MD & CEO, Adani Wilmar.

A level playing field for manufacturers could be achieved by categorizing imports like palm oil, stearic acid, soap noodles, oleic acid and refined glycerin under the restricted-items list or implementing a 25 per cent import duty on finished products as opposed to raw materials. "The suggestion is to grant duty-free import privileges for raw materials to entities equipped with processing facilities. This move is expected to stimulate innovation and boost competitiveness, thus promoting the Make in India movement," he added.

A consumption boost will lead to a cycle of sustained economic growth in the long run. "I expect the budget to navigate the immediate challenges faced by sections of the economy while fostering a vision for longer sustained economic growth. Attention should be directed towards enhancing rural job creation and consumption, enhancing incentives for capital expenditure, and incentivizing innovation and research and development (R&D). Aligned with the aspirations of India@100, the budget should also allocate larger resources for supporting exports and greater job creation in both rural and urban markets. This would boost local production and cultivate a resilient and inclusive economy," said Aasif Malbari, CFO, GCPL.

Sharing a similar view, in support of boosting the rural economic growth, Anil G Verma, CEO and Executive Director, Godrej & Boyce, siad,"We expect the government to continue its support to capex led projects, infrastructure improvements and PLIs, as budgeted. Further, the government must take steps to accelerate the growth of its rural economy by providing suitable enablers."

The zinc industry anticipates increased infrastructure projects driving demand for this durable and sustainable material. Implementing Production Linked Incentives for downstream metal processing could create jobs, empower technological advancements, and contribute to India's economic goals. "The upcoming budget could encourage exploration by facilitating approvals and incentivizing experienced agencies as this segment holds huge potential for private industry to explore the mineral potential of India. Streamlining community development efforts is essential and with respect to that we urge the budget to look at consolidating DMF and CSR funds into a single entity that could simplify administration and maximize impact," said Arun Misra, CEO, Hindustan Zinc Limited.

Import duty relaxations on essential machinery and incentives for sustainable mining technologies could benefit both production and exports.

Shrabona Ghosh

Correspondent

A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 

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