The Union Budget for FY2016-17 has just been announced. In the Budget, there is a major push on infrastructure. For example, the road and rail sector has been allotted a sum of Rs 2.19 lakh crore. Finance Minister Mr Arun Jaitley has even announced the development of 160 non-functional airports across the country at a cost of Rs 50 - 100 crore each. For the roads sector alone, he has earmarked Rs 97,000 crore. The Finance Minister said that 85 per cent of stalled road projects are now back on track. Mr Jaitley even spoke about the target of 10,000 kms of national highway and upgradation of 50,000 kms of state highways in the next fiscal. He added that a series of measures have been started for modernizing ports. He also said that initiatives are being introduced to reinvigorate infrastructure sector through Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
The total outlay for infrastructure of over Rs 2 lakh crore comes as a commendable move to boost the infrastructural framework of the country. The Budget’s allocation of Rs 35,984 crore for agriculture and farmer welfare is a promising step in bolstering confidence and reviving demand in the rural economy. This is further supplemented by the impetus to catalyze the housing market with measures such as service tax exemption for construction of houses less than 60 square meters coupled with an additional exemption of Rs 50,000 for housing loans up to Rs 35 lakh, provided the cost of the house is not above Rs 50 lakh. This should foresee a surge in demand for housing, further facilitated with a better rural economy.
The automotive paints industry too hopes to see a rise in demand with India becoming one of the major producers of vehicles in the world. This issue carries a report on the growth of automotive paints and what one can expect in the immediate future.
We sincerely hope all this translates into reality and mean better days for the coatings and corrosion mitigation industry.