Budget 2017 Seeks to Simplify Ease of Doing Business for Foreign Investors: USIBC President

Washington, D.C., February 1, 2017: The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) commended the 2017 Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earlier today, saying the budget has a forward-looking outlook and builds off the economic reforms enacted over the last three years of Prime Minister Modi’s government. The budget deepens the Government’s move towards a digital economy, while remaining committed to attracting foreign investment, increasing infrastructure spending in roads and civil aviation, rationalizing the tax structure, spurring domestic growth while also bringing in rural India into the fold of the digital economy.

USIBC has commended the noteworthy reform measures that have been implemented in the last year including the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the bankruptcy code, FDIs in several sectors of the economy, and measures for financial inclusion. In light of these reforms, the Council was pleased to note that the budget is a fiscally sound agenda that doubles down on Prime Minister Modi’s stated goals of improving the ease of doing business by reducing red tape, investing in “Skill India”, and attempts to mitigate the negative impact of demonetization.

USIBC President, Dr. Mukesh Aghi said, “At a time of global uncertainty, budgets can be challenging to implement but the Finance Minister has done an admirable job in creating a vision that will propel the domestic economy while remaining cognizant about foreign investors. The industry welcomes positive steps in the affordable housing segment, bringing the ‘Housing for All’ scheme a step closer to reality. Relaxation on long term capital gains and infrastructure status to the segment will boost supply in the market. The Council looks forward to more announcements on liberalization in certain sectors in the near-term.”

USIBC was also pleased to note:

  • Increase in infrastructure spending, roads and civil aviation as it is a key to expanding opportunities for all citizens.
  • Continued reforms for start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
  • Creation of India’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) to secure India’s financial institutions from cybersecurity threats.
  • Increased investment in agriculture that will lead to greater protection for farmers.

About U.S.-India Business Council:
Formed in 1975 at the request of the U.S. and Indian governments, the U.S.-India Business Council is the premier business advocacy organization, comprised of 400 top-tier U.S. and Indian companies advancing U.S.-India commercial ties. USIBC is the largest bilateral trade association in the United States, with liaison presence in New York, Silicon Valley, and New Delhi.

Contact: Sukanya Sen at ssen@usibc.com or at 202-463-5837.

Press Release