A mixed bag: Schemes encouraging but budget unclear on execution and sources

The Union Budget has been a mixed bag. Attempts of maintaining fiscal prudence and continuity of directions are visible.

Published: 02nd February 2018 02:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd February 2018 06:45 AM   |  A+A-

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presents the Union Budget at Parliament in New Delhi on Thursday. | PTI

Express News Service

The Union Budget has been a mixed bag. Attempts of maintaining fiscal prudence and continuity of directions are visible. This will help sustain the confidence of global investors in our economy. While this is a welcome step, our ground-level challenges on jobs continue as expected.

The focus on policy of ‘Make in India’ remains intact. Though this is a hard path to create jobs, the budget has discouraged certain kinds of imports and encouraged local manufacturing. Given the challenges in Telecom (CIEL study on Telecom shows substantial job losses in the near term) and IT, such a move is very critical.

With the smartphone market growing at 23 per cent and India overtaking US to become the 2nd largest smartphone market, it has a huge headroom for growth and hence more job creation in manufacturing as well as maintenance and repair. Similarly, proposed changes in customs duty will promote creation of more jobs in the country in sectors such as food processing, electronics, auto components, footwear and furniture as well.

In a bid to boost new job creation, the government will contribute 12 per cent of the EPF contribution for new employees for all sectors. This will encourage fresh hiring and boost campus placements in the country for skill development centres and vocational training centres in particular. The Economic Survey 2017-18 couple of days ago had a pink cover to highlight women empowerment. Reiterating the same, the budget offers new women employees an increased take home salary with only 8 per cent PF deducted for the first 3 years.

With a year-on-year growth of 17.31 per cent in the domestic passenger growth in India, government is seeking to boost the aviation sector with capacity expansion of its existing airports to handle more traffic. The capacity expansion will not only boost temporary employment opportunities but will be a boon to the tourism industry as well.

Corporate tax brackets being lowered to 25 per cent for companies reporting a turnover of Rs 250cr will enable these SME’s to invest more in their businesses and create more jobs. Many of these proposals need huge financial outlays. The sources of the investments have to be found and rolled out. This ‘execution ‘ is critical. The budget isn’t clear on this. I hope, clear measures will be taken to find these resources.

Infra projects to aid job creation

The infra sector has an all-time high allocation as has rail and road sectors. Railways and metro projects have got a much needed boost with huge investments from government. They will promote both permanent and temporary job opportunities.

Aditya mishra CEO, CIEL HR Services

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