New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured India Inc on 15 February that his government would take care of its various concerns, including an appreciating rupee, in the coming Budget session.
“We are in the midst of the Budget session and the relevant ministries of the government will take care of what your (Ficci) president has stated,” he said at the annual general meeting of the industry chamber here.
Singh was responding to outgoing Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) president Habil Khorakiwala’s statement, expressing concerns about the rising value of rupee vis-a-vis the US dollar.
“I am aware that there are many persisting problems. It has been our effort in the government to redress these to the maximum extent possible within the political parameters of the day,” he told the captains of the Indian industry.
Referring to the Khorakiwala’s demand that tax benefits for export should be restored, at least temporarily, as the alarm bells were ringing for the sector, the Prime Minister said, “It is a priority concern and exporters will find a ready listening point in our government.”
Making a case for lowering of interest rates, Khorakiwala said soft interest rates would make many projects, which are currently lying on the drawing board, viable.
Pointing out that “some of you are not happy about our emphasis on inflation control,” the Prime Minister said inflation is an iniquitous tax that hits the poor more than the rich.
On the concerns about global slowdown, he said, “We will take steps to limit their impact on us. The Finance and Commerce Ministers are seized of the matter...We will take all possible steps to help our industry.”
The Budget session of Parliament will begin on February 25 and the UPA government will present its last full Budget on February 29.