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Budget '17: Rural net will facilitate travel bookings

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MUMBAI: The union budget has broadly focused on themes such as the farming sector, the tourism industry, development of road network, and infrastructure. The high speed internet connectivity in rural areas will now be the biggest advantage to the travellers.

This is the first time the railway budget was merged with the general budget. One significant announcement was the fencing project on the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah routes which is expected to cost around Rs 45 lakh per km. Other announcements included track and signalling upgradation and elimination of unmanned level-crossings along the two major routes at an estimated cost of Rs 21,000 crore.

Royal Caribbean Cruises exclusive India representative TIRUN?? CEO Ratna Chadha said, ?The union budget we hope will have a positive impact on the tourism industry which is a great employment generator, resulting in a significant multiplier effect on the economy. We are happy to see infrastructure development at airports in tier 2/3 cities, as most of the aspirational India resides here."

Online travel industry enabler Travelyaari co-founder and CEO Aurvind Lama said, ?The union budget presented a progressive outlook with due importance to infrastructure development and tech development. The investment proposed in building national highways along with developing road network is a welcome step."

Lowcostdepartures.com's new avatar Travkart.com co-founder Gursahib Singh Sethi said, ?For increase in railway connectivity to the remote areas and upgradation of airports in Tier 2 cities, a huge number of people will be able to travel smoothly from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. The high speed internet connectivity in rural areas will be the biggest advantage to them. This will help them to do more purchasing and online bookings. Enlarging the tax exemption bracket would be a crucial factor in people's saving. This will increase their budget to travel."

Sales enablement services provider Denave global CEO & co-founder Snehashish Bhattacharjee said, ?Union Budget 2017 is mostly in line with the long-term economic development strategy of the present government. For the retail/ FMCG segment, highway and road infrastructure focus will work well in tandem with the advantages of the GST implementation. This will also go a long way in allowing development of tier3/satellite towns closer to the Tier1/tier2 cities and thereby a little more even distribution of population across tiered cities and rural areas. The sops towards getting closer to a cashless economy (digitisation sops, BHIM app and Aadhaar Pay drive, removal of service charges on e-ticket booking etc.) will help get closer to the 3% fiscal deficit goal by FY?19.?

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