Union Budget 2024: High Hopes for Power and Manufacturing Sectors
Union Budget 2024: High Hopes for Power and Manufacturing Sectors

New Delhi: The impending Union Budget 2024 has stirred anticipation in India's power and manufacturing sectors, with expectations for strategic reforms and policy extensions. This optimism prevails amid projections of a 7.3% growth in the Indian economy, despite global economic uncertainties.

In the power sector, the spotlight is on the well-being of Distribution companies. Pratik Agarwal, Managing Director of Sterlite Power, stresses their significance, stating, "The health of the power sector ultimately depends on the health of our Distribution companies, not just on generation or transmission." Agarwal urges state-level reforms in distribution and proposes that fiscal benefits in the budget should be tied to these reforms, emphasizing the need for a more efficient power distribution network nationwide.

Deepak Sharma, Zone President-Greater India, MD & CEO of Schneider Electric India, shares insights on the economic scenario and budget expectations. According to Sharma, India's current economic growth is fueled by domestic demand, a robust capital expenditure cycle, and growing exports. He emphasizes the industry's support for initiatives promoting sustainable development and a new energy landscape, including green hydrogen, solar technologies, microgrids, and electric vehicles. Sharma also underscores the importance of government investments in manufacturing, innovation, AI, and digital technology, emphasizing the role of Public-Private Partnerships in India's infrastructure growth.

Experts propose specific changes to the corporate tax structure, advocating for an extension of the current 15% corporate tax rate for new domestic manufacturing companies. Originally set to expire by March 31, 2024, experts suggest extending this deadline to March 2027 or even 2029. This extension is seen as crucial for unlocking India's manufacturing potential, especially in light of global supply chain disruptions and the "China Plus One" strategy adopted by multinational enterprises. A prolonged lower tax rate could significantly boost India's appeal as a global manufacturing hub.

The Union Budget 2024 is pivotal for India's economy, given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent recovery. The emphasis on distribution reforms in the power sector and the manufacturing sector's call for tax extensions reflect broader economic priorities crucial for India’s infrastructural development and long-term economic sustainability.

As the nation eagerly awaits Union Budget 2024, expectations are high. Beyond mere numbers, the budget is expected to chart the course for critical sectors driving India’s economic growth. The government's response will signal its commitment not only to sustaining current growth but also to laying the groundwork for future development. Key areas of focus include the power sector's efficiency, the manufacturing sector’s expansion, and the integration of sustainable practices. The budget has the potential to shape India’s journey towards becoming a global manufacturing powerhouse and a leader in sustainable energy practices.

With policymakers and industry leaders converging on their expectations, Union Budget 2024 stands as a pivotal moment for India’s economic and infrastructural roadmap. The decisions made will reverberate across key sectors, shaping the nation’s economic future.

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