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Budget 2023 should focus on expanding priority sector lending, removal of non tariff barriers: UKIBC

economy | Jan 6, 2023 9:21 PM IST

Budget 2023 should focus on expanding priority-sector lending, removal of non-tariff barriers: UKIBC

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The UK-India Business Council (UKIBC) is hopeful that the Indian government will reduce tariffs in alcohol, food and the healthcare sector. This comes as a free trade agreement (FTA) is being drawn between the two countries.

With the Union budget less than a month away, there is a common ask among India’s trading partners — ease of doing business and reduction in tariffs.

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The UK-India Business Council (UKIBC) is hopeful that the Indian government will reduce tariffs on alcohol, food and the healthcare sector. This comes as a free-trade agreement (FTA) is being drawn up between the two countries.
Further, the US-India Business Council (USIBC) has asked the Indian government to make India an attractive destination for US investors along with making a standardised process for reforms.
In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Richard McCullum, Chief Executive Officer of UKIBC, emphasised the need for expanding priority-sector lending in the upcoming budget. McCullum also called for the removal of non-tariff barriers in order to facilitate increased trade between the UK and India.
Additionally, he suggested that tariff reduction in sectors such as food and healthcare could further enhance economic ties between the two countries. McCullum also urged the government to incentivise insurance and banking companies to invest more in India.
Alexander Slater, Managing Director of USIBC, echoed these sentiments and stressed on the importance of a consistent approach to engagement and regulations in improving the investment climate for American businesses in India. Slater also suggested that India should take advantage of the "China +1" strategy by opening up its domestic market and providing a level playing field for foreign investors.
He added that the finalisation of rules for direct overseas listing and the acceleration of advance pricing regimes would further encourage investment in India.
Overall, both the UKIBC and USIBC believe that a focus on economic reforms in the upcoming budget will lead to increased foreign investment in India.
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