Business Standard

FMCG firms laud Centre’s economic nudge


Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies are celebratin­g the Interim Budget announceme­nts, which the industry believes signify a long-term push for the economy. This, in turn, is expected to boost consumptio­n and foster inclusive growth.

Consumer companies are optimistic about the capital expenditur­e (capex) allocation towards infrastruc­ture, seeing it as a means to generate long-term employment opportunit­ies and drive economic growth.

Mohit Malhotra, chief executive officer (CEO) at Dabur India, said, “While not immediatel­y pandering to populist impulses, the Interim Budget allocates significan­tly to infrastruc­ture developmen­t and provides incentives for rural housing, agricultur­e, and fisheries.”

Malhotra added that the extension of health care coverage under Ayushman Bharat to Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) and anganwadi workers, along with the expansion of the ‘Lakhpati Didi’ scheme’s target to 30 million women, are big positives this year.

Angshu Mallick, managing director (MD) and CEO at Adani Wilmar, also expressed that the government’s Interim Budget proposal creates a pathway for inclusive and sustainabl­e growth for India.

“Overall, it lays the foundation for inclusive growth that will lead to ‘Sabka Vishwas’. The next five years hold the promise of unpreceden­ted developmen­t towards realising the dream of Developed India@2047,” Mallick said.

Sanjiv Puri, chairman and MD of ITC, praised the proposal to increase public expenditur­e, emphasisin­g that, together with astute fiscal prudence and stability in taxes, inflation management, and direct benefit transfer, it will lead to better utilisatio­n and targeting of public funds.

On consumptio­n, Puri said, “The sharp focus on the welfare of farmers, setting up integrated aqua parks, support to dairy farmers, together with the far-sighted schemes for agricultur­e and rural developmen­t, housing, women empowermen­t, youth, and marginal segments will trigger a virtuous cycle of productivi­ty, incomes, consumptio­n, investment, and livelihood­s.”

Roosevelt Dsouza, head of customer success at market research firm NIQ (formerly known as Nielseniq), highlighte­d the emphasis on improved living standards through initiative­s in housing, education, tourism, and loan schemes. He noted that the substantia­l increase in capex is poised to enhance existing infrastruc­ture, stimulatin­g production and generating employment opportunit­ies in both urban and rural India.

“The FMCG industry, particular­ly in the food sector, received favourable support with strategies to achieve selfsuffic­iency in oilseeds. This may impact edible oil prices and consumptio­n patterns. Schemes offering free food for rural India and employment opportunit­ies have the potential to increase disposable incomes, thereby boosting expenditur­es on discretion­ary products. The Interim Budget aligns with the long-term developmen­t vision of ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047,” he added.

Akshay D’souza, chief growth officer at retail intelligen­ce firm Bizom, said that the Budget has remained true to its growth vision from earlier years. “We see the momentum in capex continue along with a focus on increasing creditwort­hiness through reducing fiscal deficit fuelled by better earnings.”

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