Reacting to the interim budget 2019 -2020 presented in the Parliament on February 1, FICCI North East Advisory Council said that the focus on rural empowerment is a welcome step.

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Chairman, FICCI North East Advisory Council, Ranjit Barthakur, said, “The focus on rural empowerment is a very welcome step and will go a long way in leveraging the strengths of Rural India, be it the support to farmers, the focus on rural industries.”

Direct Income Support scheme under which an amount of Rs 6000 per annum will be provided to farmers having cultivable land of up to 2 hectares will help in addressing a critical gap by benefiting farmers who are not covered under MSP, this will be particularly beneficial for farmers in the Northeast where land holdings are small compared to other parts, Barthakur added.

He also welcomed the focus on infrastructure and said “the increase in allocation for the Northeast by 21 per cent is particularly welcome”.

While welcoming the decision to rename DIPP as the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Barthakur hoped that the department will take necessary steps to issue the detailed guidelines for the North East Industrial Development Scheme which was announced last year.

Chairman of FICCI Assam State Council, Ashish Phookan, said, “The clear focus on the agriculture sector, particularly the small and marginal farmers, the middle class, senior citizens, small-savers and workers in the unorganized sector will go a long way in furthering the vision of inclusive growth in the country.”

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He further added, “The announcement of a mega pension program to provide social security to workers engaged in the unorganised sector. Assam has a large un-organized sector and this will be very beneficial for large number of workers across the state and compliment the health care and other social security schemes of the state and central government already in place.”

He also welcomed the decision make income tax assessment more friendly, physical interface free and jurisdiction free. He said this will not only improve the ease of doing business it will also help in creating a more transparent system.

The budgetary support of Rs 480 crore to the regional connectivity scheme, UDAN, during the interim budget of 2019-20 is will also help in improving connectivity and the Northeast stands to gain substantially as a number of airports in the region are going to be connected under the UDAN scheme.

The focus on Sagar mala project and development of Inland water transport will have a very positive impact on the economy by reducing transportation cost, we are happy to note that after Ganga now the focus will be on the Brahmaputra to develop facilities for containerized transportation of goods by the river route, he added.

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