Global Economy

Focus on agriculture sector in Budget 2024 as it can generate employment: PHDCCI

Union Budget: Among the many suggestions it made to the Finance Ministry, industry lobby group PHDCCI has suggested focusing on the agriculture sector in the upcoming Union Budget as it can act as a pool of employment generation.

“India’s workforce is predominantly engaged in agriculture and the informal sector. Agriculture growth depends on rural infrastructure, private sector involvement, and waste reduction. Accelerating reforms in agriculture and food processing, coupled with increased public investments in agricultural infrastructure, can spur employment,” PHD Chamber Of Commerce And Industry said in its pre-Budget recommendations.

“Increase public investments in agri-infrastructure such as cold chain infrastructure to store and transport agriculture products to strengthen agriculture supply chains,” PHDCCI added.

With the Union Budget likely to be announced in the second half of July 2024, PHDCCI outlined certain recommendations to boost India’s economy across various sectors, focusing on green initiatives, industry growth, MSME support, and more.

Taxation Reforms

To simplify taxation, PHDCII has suggested reducing tax rates for individuals and LLPs, increasing prosecution limits in TDS matters, and reducing pre-deposit amounts for CGST appeals. These measures aim to create a more business-friendly environment and encourage economic expansion.

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Green Economy and Industry Growth

PHDCCI sought the need for lower interest rates to encourage financing for green projects and suggests replicating NTPC’s Methanol production prototype using captured carbon dioxide across thermal plants. To aid the wind energy sector, it recommended improving road infrastructure for transporting large turbine blades and offering capital investment subsidies and custom duty exemptions for wind turbine manufacturing. The manufacturing sector should aim to increase its GDP contribution beyond 25%, leveraging the export of high-tech products, the lobby group said.

Enhancing MSME Support and Reducing Business Costs

To support MSMEs, PHDCCI proposed including Medium Enterprises in MSME Facilitation Councils to resolve delayed payments and extending classification norms for NPAs to 180 days. For improved ease of doing business, focus should shift to Tier 2 cities, SMART Cities, and rural areas, with recommendations to lower the costs of capital, power, land, logistics, and labor, it said.

Boosting Start-Ups, Logistics, and Overseas Investments

PHDCCI also asked for expanding the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme to more sectors, including medicinal plants and handicrafts, to foster startup growth. Streamlining approval processes and harmonizing regulations can attract more domestic and foreign investments, it said.


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