New Delhi: The fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry has sought continuation of rural employment guarantee schemes in the upcoming Budget to help boost consumption across the country, particularly in villages.
“We expect the government to continue their focus on rural sector with rural employment guarantee schemes and profitable supply of funds to those areas,” Dabur India chief executive officer Sunil Duggal said.
These measures would help the consumer goods industry by boosting demand in rural areas and villages, he added.
Demand from the rural sector helped the Rs1 lakh crore industry grow at around 17-18% in the last fiscal despite heavy odds such as rising input costs, high inflation and the economic downturn.
According to industry experts, rural markets account for over 35% of the total sales of consumer goods in India.
“We don’t expect any tax sops from the government in the budget... but would like to see that the government should keep spending more on rural areas, which is not only good for FMCG segment but for the whole country,” Godrej Group chairman and managing director Adi Godrej said.
Besides, the industry expects the government to rationalise tax structure in line with its policies for a unified tax regime across the country.
“There is a need for rationalising the tax structure that will have the dual effect of eliminating anomalies and inducing competitiveness,” said Rasna chairman and managing director Piruz Khambatta, who is also the chairman of CII’s National Commitee on Food Processing.
He said the government should increase its expenditure on Research and Development as well as infrastructure to make the industry globally competitive.
Echoing similar sentiments, Emami director Aditya Agarwal said the government should spend more on infrastructure and agriculture sector that will boost the industry.
“We expect the government to spend on infrastructure projects like roads and ports because these are important aspects for business to grow. They should also put more emphasis on agriculture. When agriculture sector grows, it will help the FMCG sector also,” Agarwal added.