Here are a few comments on the Union budget by leading industry figures.
Jaswinder Ahuja, corporate VP and MD, Cadence Design Systems, India
"We commend Union Minister Pranab Mukherjee for delivering a balanced budget that aims to correct the imbalance between urban and rural growth. Measures to encourage growth in rural areas through broadband and telephone connectivity as well as banking initiatives will ensure that development is inclusive.
"The plan to introduce an amendment in this session of Parliament to bring forth a clear and concise Goods and Service Tax (GST) policy is much appreciated and we look forward to seeing that come to fruition. On the solar energy segment, the cancellation of customs duty for some of the inputs used in the production of solar modules/cells will encourage the build-up of the budding industry in India.
"However, we are disappointed that the budget did not address issues critical to the growth of the semiconductor industry in India. We were keenly looking forward to schemes that will give a boost to the country’s semiconductor ecosystem, which are necessary for its growth."
Ashok Chandak, senior director, Global Sales and Marketing, NXP Semiconductors India.
“The support for green and energy initiatives, especially in the areas of automotive and solar, is worth noting in this year’s budget. Reduction in duty on LEDs will help boost growth of this technology and energy efficiency, since cost is one of the chief inhibitors for adoption of new energy efficient products.
"Additionally, sops for production of electric and hybrid cars, as well as encouragement for solar lighting will also benefit industry. Unfortunately, the budget does not offer anything major for the Electronics and semiconductor industry in specific. We hope the government will address some of the issues to boost the local electronics manufacturing very soon as the Electronics Import bill is increasing at a rapid pace year after year.”
Manish Sharma, director - marketing, Panasonic India
"The budget 2011 has exceeded expectations in terms of rural development, education and agriculture. It is commendable that the economy has seen a growth rate of over 9 percent. This budget will provide an impetus to inflation control.
"On the whole, it is extremely favorable towards the agricultural community. The various reform measures announced moves at improving the health and the farming sector in the country. This would also result in the upliftment of the economy as steps have been taken towards improving the life of the farmers. This would further create additional markets, which is an encouraging sign.
"Specific to Panasonic India, there will not be any major changes in terms of product pricing as there have been no changes in duties. We welcome the reduction in excise duties on LEDs.
"However, for a manufacturer, as we are exposed to open competition with the various ASEAN countries, some relief on raw materials and intermediate goods would have made our industry competitive globally.
Overall, I foresee an improvement in the macro-economic condition of the country, as this Union Budget proposes to boost agriculture and health industry."