Budget 2021: Special Focus on Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Research

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The duty on solar invertors will be raised from five to 20 per cent. Similary some of the components used in mobile manufacturing will now attract 2.5 per cent duty. These steps, as per the government, will help in promoting the domestic manufacturing sector

Presenting the first paper-less budget since India got its independence, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that for the electronics sector of India, around 1000 new mandis will ne integrated with the Electronic National Market. In terms of mobile manufacturing and ecosystem, one of the fastest growing ecosystems in the country, a 2.5 per cent charge will be applied on import of some parts used in manufacturing of mobile phones.

“Domestic electronic manufacturing has grown rapidly. For greater domestic value addition we’re withdrawing a few exemptions on part of chargers & sub-parts of mobiles. Further some parts of mobiles will move from nil rate to a moderate 2.5 per cent,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The government will be also be launching a Rs 3,05,984 crore scheme to reform the power distribution sector in the country. This scheme will provide assistance to DISCOMS for Infrastructure creation including pre-paid smart metering and feeder separation, upgradation of systems, etc., tied to financial improvements.

“Reflecting on the continued focus on ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’, the Finance Minister has announced extended support for the manufacturing of electronic components & sub-assemblies, including mobile phones,” noted Dinesh Aggarwal, Joint Managing Director, Panasonic Life Solutions India.

Sitharaman also mentioned about various PLI schemes announced for the manufacturing sector. She said that that for a USD five trillion economy, India’s manufacturing sector has to grow in double digits on a sustained basis.

“Our manufacturing companies need to become an integral part of global supply chains, possess core competence and cutting-edge technology. To achieve all of the above, PLI schemes to create manufacturing global champions for an AatmaNirbhar Bharat have been announced for 13 sectors. For this, the government has committed nearly Rs.1.97 lakh crore in the next 5 years starting FY 2021-22. This initiative will help bring scale and size in key sectors, create and nurture global champions and provide jobs to our youth,” noted Sitharaman.

Infrastructure development

Infrastructure, that plays a key role in the electronics sector, has also been given some weightage in the budget. The budget has provided a record sum of Rs 1,10,055 crore, for Railways of which Rs. 1,07,100 crore is for capital expenditure.

Major Ports will be moving from managing their operational services on their own to a model where a private partner will manage it for them. For the purpose the budget proposes to offer more than Rs. 2,000 crore by Major Ports on Public Private Partnership mode in FY21-22.

“Reflecting on the continued focus on ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’, the Finance Minister has announced extended support for the manufacturing of electronic components & sub-assemblies, including mobile phones. The public infrastructure has got a strong boost with specific allocation for NHAI for continued vigour on highway construction and improvement of the roads; with specific budget allocation for some of the states, including Assam,” said Aggarwal.

He added, “Specifically for the Electrical Construction Materials industry, reduction of import duties on steel flats & copper scrap, long-awaited revision in the labor laws (including women being allowed to work in night shifts) are some of the significant steps that will create a strong export-led economy in the Manufacturing sector.”

By March 2022, Government, as the minister highlighted, would be awarding another 8,500 kms and complete an additional 11,000 kms of national highway corridors. To further augment road infrastructure, more economic corridors are also being planned. She also provided an enhanced outlay of Rs. 1,18,101 lakh crore for Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, of which Rs.1,08,230 crore is for capital.

In order to give a further boost to the non-conventional energy sector, the Finance Minister stated that the Government will provide additional capital infusion of Rs 1,000 crore to Solar Energy Corporation of India and Rs 1,500 crore to Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency.

The duty on solar invertors will be raised from five to 20 per cent, and on solar lanterns from five to 15 per cent to encourage domestic production

Rs. 50,000 crore: National Research Foundation outlay

The Finance Minister said that in her Budget Speech of July 2019, She had announced the National Research Foundation and added that the NRF outlay will be of Rs. 50,000 crore, over 5 years. It will ensure that the overall research ecosystem of the country is strengthened with focus on identified national-priority thrust areas.

Government will undertake a new initiative – National Language Translation Mission (NTLM). This will enable the wealth of governance-and-policy related knowledge on the Internet being made available in major Indian languages.

The Finance Minister also proposed to consolidate the provisions of SEBI Act, 1992, Depositories Act, 1996, Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 and Government Securities Act, 2007 into a rationalized single Securities Markets Code. The Government would support the development of a world class Fin-Tech hub at the GIFT-IFSC.

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