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February 27, 1999
'The Budget is common man friendly. There won't be any price rise'
K N Memani
Restructuring of excise duty. The SSI sector stands to gain a lot. So does textiles. Automatic route for foreign investors, FIPB clearance within 30 days of proposals, transparency in FDI proposals are the highlights of the Budget.
High speed diesel rate have been raised by one rupee. But this will raise the cost of transportation. The good effect is the money thus raised will be used for road infrastructure. In that context, this is welcome. This will stimulate other segments of the economy.
The decision to allow stock exchanges to open counters abroad will make investments simpler for NRIs and OCBs. The cumbersome procedures will be a thing of the past. This move is expected to offer a shot in the arm for the capital markets.
The best scheme announced so far is the Gold Deposit Scheme. This will make the gold lying idle in bank lockers a good investment.
Going by the proposals so far, the Budget is common man friendly. There won't be any price rise generally. I see the government is getting more confident and unlike in the past, it now means business, intent on actually implementing what it proposes.
K N Memani is chairman, Ernst & Young
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