Budget 2023: UKIBC welcomes strong focus on ease of doing business, private investment, capital expenditure, and fiscal stability

By UK India Business Council (UKIBC)

The UKIBC congratulates Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the Government of India on the presentation of India’s Union Budget 2023-24. We welcome and support the growth-oriented focus outlined in the Budget, which had a clear emphasis on ease of doing business, private investment and consumption, digital integration, job creation, green growth and infrastructure development whilst maintaining fiscal stability. In particular, the 33% increase in capital expenditure demonstrates the government’s commitment towards building a stronger base for manufacturing and connectivity.

UK businesses are among the highest foreign investors in India and directly employ around 450,000 people across the country. UKIBC and its members’ commitment to India remained strong through the pandemic and, as we put that period behind us, positivity remains high.

The 2023-24 Budget contains announcements that will help to attract further investments:

In terms of the Ease of Doing Business, we welcome announcements on the:

  • simplification of tax structures, including the reduction of customs duties – reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers will solidify India’s role as a global manufacturing hub;
  • reduction in compliance requirements; and importantly
  • on ensuring adequate consultations with regulated entities in the financial sector when designing new policies.

The focus on India’s youth is important. One of India’s advantages is its demographic dividend, so giving its young people the skills of the future will help the country continue its remarkable development. UK employers, skills providers and universities are very committed to this agenda.

UKIBC strongly supports the green growth and sustainability agenda outlined in the Budget. We believe expanding priority sector lending to sustainable finance will help accelerate delivery of this agenda.

We note the vision and programmes outlined for digital and technology sectors, which will be positively transformative for India. Private sector engagement will be a key driver in unlocking the full potential of these programmes, and will require balanced legal, regulatory and administrative compliances, and sound policies on data and IP protection.

Foreign banks play a significant role in private sector investment and capital across sectors of the economy. Looking forward, and to drive an expansion of this activity, tax parity and efficient tax administration would go a long way in creating an even more-enabling business environment.

UKIBC shares India’s mission to be a world-class, investor friendly destination for businesses and serve as a global manufacturing hub. We are committed to supporting the Government of India on this agenda as knowledge partners, providing best-in-class expertise from our members and team.

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