Business leaders react to Union Budget 2020-21

Union Budget 2020-21
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Mr. Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO, Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd

Mr. Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO of Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd, a Kodak brand Licensee

“This has been a historic budget, I would rate it 8/10. This is common man’s budget. From education to infrastructure, govt has ensured promising new projects. This would encourage buying and would improve market sentiments. In terms of Electronics and TVs, we were expecting reduction in GST to 18% and extent the 0% duty on open cell panel.”

Kunal Jain, Founder and CEO, Analytics Vidhya

Kunal Jain, Founder & CEO, Analytics Vidhya 

I welcome the Government’s initiative to open Data Center Parks across the country as the finance minister has rightly said that ‘Data is the New Oil’. This will lead to the digitisation of the rural areas while providing various employment opportunities to the people across the country. Also, I would appreciate the use of AI & ML by the government in Aayushman Bharat Scheme to improve the healthcare services and eradicate tuberculosis in India by 2025.”

 

Akshay Chaturvedi, CEO & Founder, LeverageEdu

Akshay Chaturvedi, Founder & CEO, Leverage Edu
“It’s great to see the Union Government’s focus on education. The FDI part was in waiting for a long time, glad to have it come through – it will really help us make a big leap! Online education programs, introduction of new courses that will push students into careers of tomorrow, and of course ‘the Indian SAT’ for promoting #StudyInIndia – all are in the right direction, and I am personally very excited about us at Leverage Edu helping execute some of these parts.”

 

 

 

Alain Spohr, Managing Director of Alstom India and South Asia

Alain Spohr, Managing Director of Alstom India and South Asia.

“First budget of the decade had tremendous expectations and the finance minister has presented a well-laid roadmap to meet them. The focus on leveraging technology and boosting transport infrastructure coupled with worthy goals of reducing emissions are laudable. However, the government could have done more to promote localisation and Make in India.

Creation of five smart cities and modernizing transport infrastructure with a Rs 1.7 lakh crore allocation are commendable. Plus, the progressive initiatives by the Railways of promoting solar energy, upgradation of railway stations, electrification of tracks and operating 150 Tejas-like trains through PPP model are welcome steps. The Bengaluru suburban transport project and the high-speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will improve connectivity between important commercial hubs. All these initiatives taken together will improve opportunities for all.

Domestic manufacturers can contribute massively to all these big-ticket projects envisaged by the government. But companies which have invested heavily to align with Make in India need a level playing field to counter import-oriented competition to contribute to nation building.

The government’s intent to reward innovation, investments and entrepreneurship is in the right direction. But the key is speedy execution of projects where localisation and domestic manufacturing are given more encouragement.”

 

Kumarmanglam Vijay

Mr. Kumarmanglam Vijay, Partner, J. Sagar Associates said “Finance Minister has proposed to bring in a scheme for resolution of outstanding income tax litigation by allowing taxpayers to pay only outstanding tax before March 31, 2020 to settle the same. In case demands were to be paid after March 31 2020 an additional amount may have to be paid. Exact details of the scheme are awaited. This is a very significant step to curb litigation in line with other  steps introduced by the Government in recent past such as increasing threshold for filing of appeals by department. A very welcome step indeed.”

Mr. Vinod Kumar Gupta, Managing Director, Dollar Industries Ltd.

Mr. Vinod Kumar Gupta, Managing Director, Dollar Industries Ltd.

“The budget for – aspirational India, economic development and caring India, gives a long-term vision of the present government. The increase in tax payer base in last 4 years and thereafter, shall boost in revenue growth – so this budget foresees long term spending more on strengthening rural, agricultural, horticulture and service industry. The Vivad par Viswas Scheme to reduce pending litigations of more than 5 lac cases across India to settle the cases before 31st March 2020, without any interest or penalty is a thoughtful step. Besides, the waiving off of DDT (Dividend Distribution Tax) is a relief for corporates, as it will help in increasing liquidity. Similarly, Nirvik scheme to allow benefits to small time exporters will push forex. Support to the start-ups and MSMEs is an additional push towards uplifting the economy. Tax payers Charter too is a big step to instill confidence to the tax payers. However, reduction in personal tax rates is below expectations, specially after big cut in tax rates of corporates in Sept 2019. But overall, it is a visionary and practical budget. Hope it gives a new lease of life to the morally down market. “

 

Dr. GSK Velu

Dr. GSK Velu, Chairman & MD – Trivitron Healthcare

”Budget 2020 is visionary and in accordance with the policy of improving and expanding healthcare services reach to all. Make in India initiative for Medical devices industry has been given a big boost. Imposing health cess on the import of medical devices will help domestic manufacturing companies.

Further, using tax proceeds to fund the creation of healthcare infrastructure will help in address issues of capital requirements for building healthcare infra in Tier- I & II cities.

The government is focused on creating the healthcare infrastructure and invest extensively in improving healthcare services in tier I-II cities in the country. Announcement of extending the ambit of Ayushman Bharat through the establishment of PPP model hospitals in 112 new districts of India will improve healthcare infrastructure.

Increasing the budgetary allocation for the healthcare sector to 69,000 crores will enhance primary health coverage and strengthen health and wellness centers (announced under Ayushman Bharat) which will help to reduce the disease burden.”

Diego Graffi MD & CEO PIAGGIO VEMr. Diego Graffi, CEO & MD, Piaggio Vehicles Pvt. Ltd

“We warmly welcome the union budget for the year 2020-21. The incentives that have been introduced for the manufacturing sector will give it a boost and help promote new technologies such as connected platforms to help in the Indian automotive industry besides attracting investment from FDI in the market. Over the last few years the government has been looking to make India a hub for manufacturing industry and with the abolition of Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT), we will further see an increase in investments from foreign players. It will also help in covering the revenue losses partially for corporates. The new scheme would encourage the manufacture and assemble of automotive electronics and semi-conductors to attract foreign investment. It will also boost the development of EVs in the country. The “handholding support” that the government has announced for Indian automotive component industry for product improvements, research and development, and business strategy will help the industry to improve by manifolds. The scheme is launched at a time when the Indian automobile industry is undergoing a major transformation. Linking of technology in vehicles is going to significantly assist the automotive sector in the coming years. I am confident that the government will continue to help the automotive sector and give it a push in 2020.”

Mr. Sureh KV, President, ZF India.
Mr. Sureh KV, President, ZF India.

Mr. Suresh KV- President, ZF India

The much awaited union budget presented by our finance minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman shows a positive path for our country’s economy.

 In order to augment India’s infrastructure and create jobs in the country the announcement of the launch of Rs 103 lakh crore infrastructure projects is a good move by the Government of India. The government’s aim to accelerate the development of the highways along with 2,500km access controlled highways and 9,000 km of economic corridor and in addition to create 2,000 km each of strategic highway and port connectivity projects are great policy initiatives, thus creating a big boost for the infrastructure segment. Policy initiatives like these would eventually result in employment generation followed by an increased demand for commercial vehicles and the construction equipment industry. In addition, the announcement of highway projects worth 6,000km being monetized before 2021 is a welcome move. The abolishment of the Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) is a positive step towards helping India become a more attractive investment destination. The announcement of the scheme to boost mobile, electronic manufacturing and semi-conductors packaging will further support the manufacturing of electric vehicles in the country. This would indirectly propel the growth of the Indian automotive industry. Also, boost to rural infrastructure and agriculture (PPP in agriculture and transportation) will increase the demand for cars, tractors and utility vehicles in coming days.

Over all this is a promising budget and we at ZF look forward for the coming financial year.

Mr. Kishore Jain, President, CREDAI BengaluruMr. Kishore Jain, President, CREDAI Bengaluru

Hon’ble Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Union Budget presentation, focused more on the infrastructure development by allocating INR 1.7 lakh crore. The government has taken many measures which will help fulfil the aspirations and vision of most of the sectors but the real estate sector has not been discussed much during the Budget. Measures on the repo rate deduction, GST rate reduction on construction materials etc. were not mentioned. Deduction on housing loans in affordable housing segment has extended by one year. The provision of tax holiday for the developers of affordable housing sector will further boost the segment. Also the concession provided to the real estate transactions will bring in more investment to the sector. The government did not announce schemes or policies to fulfil the promise of ‘’Housing for all by 2022”, within two years. Real Estate being one of the key contributors to the country’s economy, it is important to address the problems faced by the sector.

Mr. Pranav Maheshwari, Co-Founder at Vista Rooms.

Pranav Maheshwari“The budget definitely provides a holistic approach to the tourism sector. The expectations were quite high in terms of further GST reduction but the union budget has completely neglected it.The positives would be the initiative to develop 17 iconic tourism sites into world-class tourist destinations resulting in more foreign tourists, benefitting the hospitality sector as well as other stakeholders of the industry.

Also, the proposed transport and social infrastructure backed by digital platforms will further boost tourism.
The steps to promote the rich tribal heritage and its culture will encourage tribal arts, crafts, fashion and architecture leading to generating better revenues and presence on the world map. The tax burden on employees due to tax on employee stock options to be deferred by 5 years or till they leave the company or when they sell, is good but it would be only applicable to successful startups. This is something which startup community has been asking for complete abolition till the exit. ”

Mr. Manish Mishra, Partner, J. Sagar Associates

Manish Mishra, Partner, JSABudget focuses on providing impetus to domestic industry by rationalizing Customs duty exemptions, and levying duties on import of goods for specific industries which are focused on ‘Make in India’ including increase on customs duties on electric vehicles. Government has taken steps to ensure measures to curb abuse of benefits available under the preferential / free trade agreements harming the domestic players. Keeping this theme in mind safeguard duty and anti-dumping duty has also been imposed on specific sectors. 

Health cess of 5% in the nature of customs duty has been levied on import of specified medical devices with immediate effect. 

From a GST perspective, given that GST Council along with the government has been taking steps to improvise implementation and administration of GST on an ongoing basis, no surprises or key amendments have been made to the GST legislation. Amendments for extending composition scheme to services sector and in the transition provisions for enabling the government to prescribe time limit for claiming unclaimed credits under the erstwhile regime is a positive step by the government.

Surojit Shome, General Manager & Chief Executive Officer of DBS Bank India.

Mr. Surojit Shome, CEO , DBS Bank India“The Union budget presents the government’s intent to boost consumption and support inclusive growth. The revision of the income tax rates and the option for individuals to opt for a simpler and lower tax regime is likely to incentivise consumer spending and stimulate demand.

The proposed allocation towards the BharatNet programme continues the digital transformation efforts by the government to provide deeper access to digital connectivity. This will enable a larger part of the rural population of India to come within the ambit of the formal economy and create an accessible framework for digital financial services.

In a fillip to the SME sector, the government is providing subordinate debt which could bridge a key gap in the ecosystem and increase access to working capital. The thrust on the GeM platform also presents a significant opportunity for SMEs.

The removal of the Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT), proposed exemptions for the sovereign wealth funds and the proposals on withholding tax will have a positive impact on foreign investments into India. This will help the infrastructure and real estate sector. Additionally, the substantially expanded disinvestment program is a positive step.”

Zoya Brar, Founder and CEO, CORE Diagnostics.

Zoya Brar, Founder & CEO at CORE Diagnostics“It is encouraging to see over 10% increase in the allocation of funds to the Healthcare sector for the budget 2020-21. While there has been no significant announcement pertaining to diagnostics industry, it is good to see the government’s growing focus on PPP mode ensuring accessibility and availability of quality healthcare services in remote locations. We are intrigued about how the government will use the fund of Rs 6400 crores allocated exclusively to Ayushman Bharat to the benefit of the people residing in Tier II and III cities. The expansion of government’s existing programme – Mission Indradhanush – to cover 12 new diseases and 5 new vaccines would be extremely beneficial in order to drive immunization across the country. The investment of Rs 8,000 crore for National Mission of Quantum Technology and Application is another noteworthy announcement for the healthcare industry.

We, at CORE Diagnostics, agree with the government that Analytics, IoT and AI are integral part for the growth of the industry and look forward to the implementation of this fund for R&D in the healthcare sector which will further result in innovations and advancements. As the Finance Minister rightly said, data is indeed the new oil. It is promising to see the improved attention from government on this subject in form of their support to the private sector in building data centre parks throughout the country. I’ve also spoken about the importance of genetic mapping and the announcement of the two national level schemes will ensure protection and bring more structure to the abundant national level database that we as a country already possess”.

Sulajja Firodia Motwani, Founder and CEO of Kinetic Green and Vice Chairperson, Kinetic Group

Sualjja Firodia Motwani, Founder and CEO, Kientic GreenThe Budget 2020 announced by Hon’ble Finance Minister today is a practical budget, with directional announcements towards improved ease of business, with ideas such as amendments to Companies Act, simplified GST returns, reduced tax harassments etc. and also various developmental schemes. However, we look forward to speedy and efficient implementation. There are some measures to attract foreign investments as well and a new optional income tax regime, for a feel good factor. DDT has been abolished but dividend taxed at the hands of the investor will pinch her or him.

From an EV industry point of view, the budget is quite neutral. FM has announced new scheme to promote automotive electronics and semi-conductors manufacturing which in the long run, can aid EV component manufacturing in the country.

Budget also contains notifications on increased customs duty on EV imported in form of CBU/SKD/CKD, to encourage “Make in India”.  In coming years, we feel that duty on EV component import should also be increased to promote local component manufacturing.

Overall, while the budget lacks big impact announcements, we welcome this budget and appreciate Government’s steps towards development, ease of doing business and steps to increase EV manufacturing by the industry.

Dr. Malini Saba, Founder & Chairman, Saba Group Holdings & Saba Family Foundations

Dr. Malini _Saba”The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) expansion for setting up standalone solar pumps for farmers will increase their land productivity, efficiency, and help agriculture business value chain in a big way.

The setting up of Kisan Rail for transportation of perishable goods is a great initiative that will increase the food item life/ health for transportation and in turn boost farmer’s income. Building organised and mechanized warehousing announced by the finance minister on the PPP model is likely to reduce logistics costs and enhance the product holding capacity. This will improve the organised supply and boost agricultural activities in this segment while attracting global investors and developers, reducing distribution costs, encouraging 3PL logistics as well as create jobs.

The budget gives a leg-up to start-ups by announcing an investment clearance cell. This should help clear roadblocks in the ways of attaining funding for Budding Entrepreneurs. The provision of funding and setting up an organised platform for the same is a needed move for growth and sustainability. The allocation of Rs 99,300 crore to the education sector in the budget would surely lead to better infrastructure, the attraction of the best teachers and greater research and innovation, especially in the field of science and technology.”

Mr. Abheek Barua, Chief Economist, HDFC Bank.

Abheek BaruaThe Budget provides credible numbers in terms of the fiscal math, recognising the revenue shortfall faced this year. It uses up the 50bps point leeway that the FRBM act provides for both this and the next year which is a welcome step.

The budget commits to increasing the expenditure by 13% in 2020-21 with increased allocations for education, health and certain schemes in the agricultural sector. That said, this expenditure increase, coupled with the income tax cuts, does not seem to suggest a large fiscal stimulus that the current slowdown perhaps warranted. Of course, the fiscal space to do that was limited to begin with. The Fiscal Responsibility and Budgetary Management Act restrains the FM from deviating by more than 0.5 per cent of GDP from a glide path for the deficit of 3.3 per cent for 2019-20 and 3 per cent for the next.

Those who are disappointed with the absence of more overtures to the financial sector either in the form of more recapitalization resources for stressed public sector banks or a fiscal commitment to buy out the pile of toxic assets that continue to impede fund flow might draw some comfort from a measure that government will offer support by guaranteeing securities floated. While need to await the fine-print on how this will work and how quickly this will be implemented, this move might be helping in easing the logjam in the financial to some degree. Government guarantees could help cash-strapped NBFC borrow at lower rates. It could also enable the central bank to offer cash in exchange for these securities if it were to plump for some out of the box measures to attenuate risk aversion in the markets.

On a different note, the tax breaks offered to foreign investors and specifically those like sovereign wealth funds who are willing to place a long term bet on the economy acknowledge the fact that there is a fundamental mismatch between the supply of domestic savings and capital needs for accelerated growth. This along with the abolishment of DTT tax is likely to help attract foreign fund flows.

For the bond market, the borrowing numbers seem to be broadly in line with market expectations and are unlikely to put significant pressure on yields in the short-term.

Mr. Amit Kapur, Joint Managing Partner, J. Sagar Associates.

Amit Kapur“The past month has seen a significant alignment in 3 critical policy documents of the Union Government focussed on Infrastructure development. The Budget seems to cement what the National Infra Pipeline (31st Dec 2019) announced – an investment target of Rs.103,00,000 crores (US$ 1.4 trillion) over 5 years with 78% projected to come from Union and State Governments. Around 58% of this is focussed on Energy and Transport and Logistics (roads, rail, ports and airports). Structural reforms (legislative, policy and contractual) are stated to be underway at the ministry levels. There is a stated focus on  privatisation and asset monetization of public sector assets, as also financial sector reform aimed at unclogging credit flows. If implemented well we can hope to see a shift from low productivity public assets to productivity enhancing infrastructure, employment growth, boost to demand, easier business environment and higher competitiveness of Indian products.

We will need to finance the growth in quick time, and bring fundamental structural reforms to remove barriers to growth. How we realize the fruits of this ambitious infra push will depend on how effectively and efficiently India implements these announcements without allowing patchy state capacity and political economy overtake us. There is a need to build quick bi-partisan national consensus around the economy cutting across the din unleashed by CAA and NRC related issues. I remain cautiously optimistic of the outcome.”

Dr.Pankaj Gupta President, IIHMR University, Jaipur.

Education Industry Expert Quotes on Union Budget Announcement“A progressive and developed country needs an educated workforce and for a country like India which is all set to have the largest working-age population by 2030, the need for a robust framework of education is high. The union budget 2020 has realized the importance of the same and announced programs which will be beneficial to the overall growth of education in the country. To ensure that education reaches everyone and is accessible anywhere anytime degree level full-fledged online courses will be offered by institutes in the top 100 of the National Institutional Ranking Framework. This will help people with primary level education attain higher education and get better jobs which will enable them to contribute positively to the economy.”

 

 

Dr. RL Raina, Vice-Chancellor, JK Lakshmipat University, Jaipur

Dr. R.L. Raina
Dr. R.L. Raina

“No country can achieve sustainable economic development without substantial investment in human capital. Education plays an important role in improving the quality of life of citizens as well as the progress of a nation. India will have the largest working-age population in the world by 2030 which is why more and more people need to have a good education so that they can contribute positively to the growth of the country. Union budget 2020 addresses key gaps between skill and employment by ensuring focused efforts on increasing skill-based institutions for medical, internships for engineers in Urban local bodies and apprenticeship based programs for non-science students. Inviting FDI for education sectors can be a decent opportunity in the path of improving the quality of education. INDI-SAT will also bring in diversity in the classroom and will force institutions to move towards Global offerings and expertise to meet the requirements. To ensure that education reaches everyone and is accessible anywhere anytime degree level full-fledged online courses will be offered by institutes in the top 100 of the National Institutional Ranking Framework. Finally, viability gap funding will be used to set up medical colleges which will be attached to district hospitals in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model which will help students gain maximum exposure and experience early on that will hold them in good stead.”

Dr. Narendra Shyamsukha, Founder Chairman, ICA Edu Skills

Dr. Narendra Shyamsukha
Dr. Narendra Shyamsukha

“Indian education is at a crucial juncture at this time as students can easily graduate from colleges but when they enter different industries they feel quite unprepared. The union budget 2020-2021 has announced 3000 crores for skill development which will help students be more job-ready and reduce the gap between education imparted and skills required. FM Nirmala Sitharaman announced that urban local bodies across the country will provide internships for young engineers for a period of up to one year so that they are well versed with the requirements of the job and get the right exposure. Also, with the help of viability gap funding medical colleges will be set up and will be attached with district colleges in PPP (Public-Private Partnership) mode which will provide students both education and on job experiences to be better prepared for their future.”

Mr.Rachit Jain, CEO & Founder, Youth4Work

Rachit Jain
Rachit Jain Profile Photo

“The first budget of the new decade presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gives an outline of a new and confident India. It is a promising, proactive and progressive budget which will make India healthy and wealthy in the coming year. India will have the largest working-age population in the world by 2030 which is why more and more people need to have a good education so that they can contribute positively to the growth of the country. The 2020 union budget has made big announcements in lieu with Prime Minister’s Vision which will play a big role in transforming India’s educational landscape. The government has announced that 8000 crore rupees will be provided for quantum technologies and applications which will help students learning about quantum computing and secure applications. To groom young students urban local bodies across the country will provide internships to young engineers for a period of up to one year. To ensure that education reaches everyone and is accessible anywhere anytime degree level full-fledged online courses will be offered by institutes in the top 100 of the National Institutional Ranking Framework. To encourage students of African and Asian countries who wish to study in India, the IND-SAT exam will be held which will help India become a global hub of education. Moreover, viability gap funding will be used to set up medical colleges which will be attached to district hospitals in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model which will help students gain maximum exposure and experience early on in their careers.”

Mr. Gaurav Bahl, Co-Founder & CEO, KOOLCHAS, a QSR chain said, “India has one of the strongest startup ecosystem in which entrepreneurship takes the core position. Hence, one of the measures taken in the new Union 2020 budget to increase the turnover limits for startups from 25 crore to 100 crore shall be instrumental to create employment opportunities. The cold storage initiative taken by the Government is another great move which will reduce the cost of manufacturing food, and will further boost the overall income for us. The new taxpayer charter is great relief as it would ensure harassment-free taxes, and will mark a breakthrough in the startup ecosystem with more transparency and efficiency. The Government’s firm agenda of stable business, building of advisory cells and investment clearance will add to the advantage of expanding new businesses with the budget.”

Mr. Ayyushman Mehta, Managing Director, Mavox Helmets – Sandhar Amkin Industries (P) Ltd.

“The second budget by Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman catered mostly to the demand side of the economy. By putting in more money in the hands of the individuals, Hon’ble Finance Minister’s take on abolishing the Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) is surely a tax relief for the middle class and lower middle-class segments, while on the corporate side it is highly positive for all consumption-linked Auto sector companies, and the overall market. The simplification of the tax regime is sure to improve public sentiment and boost the economy. This budget is likely to revive our country’s economic growth and create new job opportunities.”

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Manit Jain, Chairman, FICCI ARISE

In order to reach the target of average spend of USD 173 billion a year to achieve the SDG 4 by 2030, it would be an unrealistic expectation to see that coming solely from government and pure philanthropic initiatives. In this context, we welcome the Government’s steps towards encouraging sourcing External Commercial Borrowings and FDI to boost quality education. We hope this would pave the way for opening up and formalising the sector and ensuring long term responsible and patient capital, giving the much needed confidence to potential investors to invest in the sector and expect legitimate RoI as spoken about several times in the past.

Mr Leon Yu, Regional Head, India & South Asia, Asus

“At Asus, we believe that the Union Budget 2020 announcement has covered several pressing issues faced by the economy and is going to bring growth opportunities. All eyes would be on the manufacturing sector, with the FM proposing a scheme to encourage mobile phones, semiconductor packaging, and electronic equipment. The new scheme, Nirvik, is also going to offer respite for exporters, promising to settle refunds for electricity and VAT previously levied. Furthermore, the provision to bring digital connectivity to all public institutions at Gram Panchayat and allocation of INR 6,000Cr to bring fibre to home through BharatNet linking 100,000 Gram Panchayats in FY21 are also welcomed moves.

With India’s rising aspirations reaching the rural locales, internet connectivity will pave the way for connected and smart consumerism. At Asus, we shall be pursuing ways to support the government in enriching India’s economy and traversing through rural India to ensure optimum growth and development. We also look forward to the policy on private players setting up data parks and shall be offering full support with our cutting-edge products and services.”

Nivesh Khandelwal CEO and Founder CareCover, said, “The FM said there was a holistic vision of healthcare. It was heartening to know that Mission Indradhanush has been extended to cover new diseases and new vaccines. And fit India is part of it.  It was highlighted that more empanelled hospitals in Ayushman Bharat will be added, especially in Tier 2 and 3 cities to benefit poor. The focus on PPP model hospitals as announced, will  set up under viability gap funding to look at areas where there are no hospitals. Overall the road map is good, however, the execution of programmes, bridging the gap between the haves and have nots, is of paramount importance for the sustainable development and progress of the country. “

He added, “In India due to out of the pocket expenses, about five crore people are pushed below the poverty line due to the burden of healthcare expenditure. This is something where the policymakers can seek collaboration from players working in the domain. One of the solutions that we are providing is to convert your out-of-pocket expenditure into easy EMIs with zero % rate of interest for 12 months.”

Divyanshu Tripathi, Co-founder and CEO, Easypolicy, said, “Overall it was an average budget. We appreciate the government’s move to launch LIC’s IPO. This will help create awareness about insurance in the interiors of our country. The idea needs to be more towards shifting insurance to protection; people should be investing in their protection in a planned manner. The government should take measures to simplify the health insurance plans to counteract the mounting out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE). Though health insurance sector has gained momentum in tier 1 & tier 2 cities in recent years. However, there is a need to create awareness about the benefits of buying health insurance in tier 3 to tier 5 cities. The government should have incentivised the health insurance buyers by raising the deduction limit for medical insurance premium under Section 80D from Rs 25,000 to at least Rs 50,000 for self and family.”

Tripathi further added, “Women being the anchors of their respective families should have been especially incentivised. In 2018-19, women bought 103 lakh life insurance policies and contributed Rs 36,525 crore of premiums (individual life insurance new business). Besides, the removal of GST could have reduced the cost of a policy, making health insurance affordable for individual policyholders. However, it is great to see major income tax cuts for individuals, this would help them to do better financial planning and buy better insurance policies with more benefits.”

Union Finance Minister Shree Nirmala Sitharaman announced INR 69,000 crore for health sector in the Lok Sabha today.

FM says there is a holistic vision of healthcare. Mission Indradhanush has been extended to cover new diseases and new vaccines. Fit India is part of it, she said. There are 20,000 empanelled hospitals in Ayushman Bharat and need more in Tier 2 and 3 cities to benefit poor in these areas. PPP mode hospitals will be set up under viability gap funding to look at areas where there are no hospitals. This will be 112 aspirational districts where first priority will be given.

Manish Chhabra, CEO & Founder of Shifa Care, applauded the Union budget 2020- 21, saying, “10% increase in Healthcare Budget to Rs 69,000 Cr is welcoming. As mentioned over 6 million new taxpayers were added in the last two years and by 2030 India will become the largest workforce, India should invest dis-proportionate increase in healthcare budget to healthy working India to catch up to OECD spend.”

Chhabra further commended the budget, saying, “Creating more medical colleges at district level hospitals is a welcoming step, however quality framework to education and appropriate job prospects for young doctors should be created. We would like to see innovation investments in new era of Medicine of Targeted Medicine for immuno-oncology, biologics & biosimilars to have more patents under India’s name with Public Private Partnership (PPP).”

While sharing his thoughts, Chhabra added, “IPR is a critical step to generate Intellectual properties and protection will attract more innovation and entrepreneurship, e.g. All India Genome mapping would enhance preventative health and quantum computing is the future of speed and computing. We are acutely conscious for removal of manual scavenging and welcome Rs 85,000 Cr for implementation of technology, as we see it relatively connected to healthcare budget which have been allocated, healthcare needs to be prioritised proportionally.”

Sudarshan Suchi, Secretary-General, SOS Children’s Villages of India

“It’s heartening to know that FM presented the budget keeping three important themes in mind, viz aspirational India, economic development and caring society.

However, in totality, it was an average budget. Talking about the social development sector, the overall trend of the budget is unlocking more potential investments in the charity sector’s development. Secondly, a few positive steps in education and conscious efforts in healthcare were highlighted. The consolidation of all these steps will support the expectations of the social development sector.”

He added, “Both for aspirational India and economic development children are the foundation. And for them, caring society is need of the hour.

Thus, the holistic development of children can’t be ignored. And here, the underprivileged children form the major chunk of the population. 20 million children don’t get adequate parental care today and this number will increase to 24 million by 2022. So focus on these children is of paramount importance for the country’s progress.

The allocation of INR 35,600 for nutritional related programmes for children welfare and equipping 6 lakh women Anganwadi workers with smartphones for nutritional updates, isn’t enough. But whatever is provided now, needs to be properly utilised with a strict mechanism in place.”

When we talk about a caring society, SOS children’s villages of India has a proven model to care for abandoned children. Here, such kind of social development organisations needs enough support from the government and other stakeholders.”

Dr Rupamanjari Ghosh, Co-chair, FICCI Higher Education Committee 

“Budget-2020 lays emphasis on teacher empowerment and skills developmenta, the need for which cannot be overemphasized. However, higher-level skills required for future jobs should be integrated with an agile Higher Education framework. We look forward to the new National Education Policy being implemented, the draft of which has suggested several futuristic and transformational measures. The new economy will be based on new-age technologies, and we appreciate the government’s move to dedicate INR 8,000 crores for the National Mission on Quantum Technologies. This will boost quality research & innovation on the exciting and difficult topics of Quantum Computing, Quantum Communication, etc. at Indian universities, including top-notch private institutions. I was expecting some bold measures to explicitly promote private philanthropy to meet the GER (Gross Enrolment Ratio) target for Higher Education. For example, universities should be allowed to creatively invest their endowments…We hope the outlays proposed will pave way for a more enthusiastic participation from the industry to drive the Higher Education ecosystem in India.”

Mr. Prashant Solomon, MD, Chintels India and Hon. Treasurer for CREDAI NCR – With the lowering of personal income tax, the middle-class and millennials will have more disposable income, thereby spurring spending and growth in the economy which will in turn also reflect in residential purchases. Affordable housing segment has also got a boost with the Hon’ble FM proposing to extend the tax holiday by one more year. However, the Budget leaves much to be desired for the real estate segment with no reduction in interest rates on home loans, no incentives for other segments beyond affordable housing, no announcements on single window clearance and industry status for the sector.

Rohit Malik, Founder and CEO, Clicbrics

“The Budget has acknowledged start-ups as the growth engines of the economy and proposed tax benefits for the sector through deduction of 100 per cent of our profits, increased turnover limit and period of eligibility. The reduction of personal income tax will increase spending power and spur growth in the economy and the real estate segment. The Budget has also focussed on the affordable housing segment with the Hon’ble Finance Minister proposing extension of the tax holiday by one more year.”

CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra

“With a thrust on talent, technology and entrepreneurship, Budget 2020-21 is a promising budget in support of making India’s $5 trillion economy dream come true. It is heartening to see initiatives that are aimed at enhancing digital penetration in the country by making Fibre to the home (FTTH) accessible to 100,000 Gram Panchayats via Bharat Net, which will go a long way in bridging the digital divide. Also, the decision to build data centre parks for the private sector is another step towards making India a data economy superpower. Furthermore, strategic initiatives aimed at leveraging new-age technologies like the Internet-of-Things, machine learning, robotics, bioinformatics, quantum computing and artificial intelligence across sectors will further help in laying the foundation of a robust, digital economy.”

Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director, Barco India

“The 2020 Budget has been drafted around the key themes of talent, technology, entrepreneurship and sustainability and we applaud the Centre’s efforts at boosting the economy.  The Hon’ble Finance Minister has maintained focus on tourism by announcing that iconic destinations will be connected by “corporate” trains like Tejas and with the plan to develop 5 archaeological sites into iconic sites. Five new smart cities have also been proposed and Barco looks forward to partnering with the Government in this direction.”

Mr. Sharad Malhotra, President – Automotive Refinishes and Wood Coatings, Nippon Paint India

“We find Union Budget 2020 to be a reasonable one with strong measures and good intent. Tax benefit for the middle class makes life easier for the common man and leaves more money in the hands of the consumer. Decriminalization in the Companies Act is a major positive that Corporate India will welcome. No reduction in GST rate for vehicles is a dampener for us.”

Mr P K Gupta, Chancellor, Sharda University

“With umpteen focused initiatives like – FDI, emphasis on new skill development and entrepreneurship, launch of new online degree courses /apprenticeship programmes and allocation of Rs 99,300 crore for world-class education, Budget2020 will help position India as a global educational hub. We appreciate the launch of the ‘Study in India’ programme which will enable foreign students to apply for scholarships to study in India. Overall, we believe that this renewed push on providing quality education and enhancing the skills of our youth, will help India play a lead role in shaping the global economy in the future.”

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, VC of World University of Design.

“Budget 2020 truly sharpens the country’s focus on becoming the next global hub for education. Significant announcements like the introduction of FDI in the education sector, launch of ‘Study in India’ programme, new apprenticeship programmes and online degree courses, besides the continued budget allocation for skill development, reiterate the government’s commitment towards the youth of our country. I am confident that these strategic initiatives will play a decisive role in the building of a New Digital India.”

Farhan Pettiwala, Executive Director & Head Development– India & South Asia, AKHAND JYOTI EYE HOSPITAL (A TATA Initiative)

In the Union Budget 2020, we welcome the increase in allocation of 69,000 crore for the health sector with 6,000crore in PMJAY Ayushman Bharat scheme, with special emphasis on viability gap funding for setting up hospitals in the 112 aspirational districts (PAN India). Welcome the announcement on converting existing district hospitals to medical colleges through PPP mode, there is indeed a huge shortage of doctors in poor state districts” –

Dr Ashutosh Niranjan, Medical Superintendent, Sharda Hospital

“The Budget has focused on implementing major steps to revitalize the healthcare industry and allocation of Rs 69,000 crore will definitely contribute in making India a better place to opt for good quality healthcare facilities. Additionally, the opening of hospitals in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, and diversion of proceeds from taxes on medical devices for health infrastructure development in these cities, along with targeted campaigns to eradicate evils like TB are a few other laudable steps. We look forward to collectively building a healthy, robust India.”

Dr. BBL Madhukar, Founder, Director General of BRICS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY

The Union Budget has rightly focused on entrepreneurship as a major pillar of the economy. We applaud the Centre’s proposal of setting up an investment clearance cell for end-to-end entrepreneurial facilitation. Further, the Hon’ble Finance Minister’s scheme to provide subordinate debt for MSME entrepreneurs also boosts the segment. We also welcome the Government’s thrust on sourcing external commercial borrowing and FDI financing to attract talent in the educational sector.

Mr Santosh Agarwal, CFO, AlphaCorp 

“We welcome the announcement of slashing the personal tax regime, cheering first-time homebuyers to invest in the real estate sector. The extension in the transaction values and circle rate is another appreciating step for the sector. Considering the rising demand for affordable housing, the government has announced the extension of one year till March 2021 on the deduction of Rs 1, 50,000 on sanctioned loans. This will encourage prospective buyers to avail of more benefits and invest in real estate. The emphasis given on infrastructural development of the country will help in seamless connectivity and also give thrust to the realty market.”

Apart from the GDP estimation of 10 percent being on higher side, we see a lot of positivity in the budget proposals tabled by Hon’ble Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.

 Major thrust has been given to the infrastructure industry, including railway infrastructure and railway connectivity. This will help them revive from the sluggishness in the economy and improve liquidity in the market.
 The new education policy integrates education, skilling and employability. This will help address the prevailing employment issues.
 The proposals to support MSME industry through National Logistic Policy, invoice financing facility and revising the audit limit to INR 5-cr from INR 1-cr is laudable
 The manufacturing sector will also get a boost through the investment clearance cell and the already announced reduction in corporate tax to 15 percent
 Introduction of smart electricity meters will help the consumers and improve the efficiency of DISCOMS
 Massive digital push by the government through fiber net connecting villages will add value to rural lifestyle
 Announcement of 112 hospitals will definitely play a major role in bridging the gap between healthcare requirement and availability
 The conversion of criminal to civil liabilities on Companies Act matters will give confidence to Corporate
 3.5 lakh crore to public sector companies will help renew the Banking sector and improve the liquidity in the market
 Marginal tax benefits to tax payers will provide decent relief to the common man
 Abolition of dividend distributed tax will help the market

The budget indicates that it’s a good time for companies to go for expansion and create more employment, which calls for wider compliance requirement. With these forward looking proposals, Aparajitha aims to grow by 20 percent in the coming fiscal.

NAGARAJ KRISHNAN
Managing Director,
Aparajitha Corporate Services Private Limited

Budget Reaction 2020 by Sanjay Goyal, Business Head, TimesJobs and TechGig

“I would term it as a ‘forward thinking’ Budget. The announcement of Rs 6,000 Crore to boost the internet connectivity is certainly big news for the internet and e-commerce industries. The announcement of a single investment clearance window for entrepreneurial projects will boost the ‘Startup India’ mission. There was also an announcement about opening internship opportunities with urban local bodies and Rs 1 lakh Crore push for education, which will directly impact jobs and skill development. And, for those seeking jobs with the government sector, there’s a plan for setting up a national recruitment agency for the hiring of non-gazetted jobs. These and other announcements of investments in the Healthcare and other sectors will give impetus to the recruitment scenario”.

Mr. Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO of Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd, a Kodak brand Licensee
“This has been a historic budget, I would rate it 8/10. This is common man’s budget. From education to infrastructure, govt has ensured promising new projects. This would encourage buying and would improve market sentiments. In terms of Electronics and TVs, we were expecting reduction in GST to 18% and extent the 0% duty on open cell panel.”
2020-21 Union Budget: Fiscal Slippage But Little Stimulus
The budget delivered credible numbers in terms of its fiscal deficit estimates, raising the deficit by 50bps this year and the next. The fiscal deficit was raised to 3.8% for 2019-20 and to 3.5% for 2020-21. The budget used up the 0.5% GDP leeway provided by the FRBM instead of sticking to the fiscal consolidation path that laid out a target of 3% for FY20-21.

For 2020-21, the government plans to increase expenditure by 13% with the bulk of the increased expenditure in agriculture and infrastructure. While this is likely to improve productivity and raise the growth potential in the medium term, the budget falls short of providing the much needed counter-cyclical stimulus that the current economic environment warrants in the short term. On the tax side, while the personal income tax cut is a welcome step, it is unlikely to boost consumption demand significantly given the low tax base in the economy.

On the expenditure side, while allocations for certain agricultural and rural schemes has been increased, the real challenge is the utilisation of funds. The lower than budgeted spending for FY20 for some of these schemes signals that absorption of funds remains an issue.

Revenue collections: In this muted growth environment the assumptions on tax collections for next year look somewhat stretched. The budget assumes a tax buoyancy of 1.2 for 2020-21 compared to 0.5 and 0.8 over the last two years. To bridge the gap on the receipts side, the government relies on a significantly higher disinvestment target (Rs. 2.1 trn) with the LIC and IDBI stake sale, higher telecom receipts and Rs. 1.5 trn as dividends and profits from the RBI and PSUs.

The financing of the fiscal deficit: In line with our expectations, the government kept its gross market borrowings unchanged at INR 7.1 trn in FY20 and financed its higher fiscal deficit through other sources (particularly the NSSF). For next year, the government has budgeted to borrow INR 7.8 trn which is broadly in line with our and market expectations (HDFC Bank estimate of INR 7.7- 7.8 trn). The reliance on the small savings fund is likely to continue (estimate of INR 2.4 trn) and could imply that small savings rate undergo little or no revision in FY21 as well. We expect the 10 year G-Sec to trade between 6.50%-6.60% in the short run as market are likely to get some relief in terms of no additional borrowings this year and in line with expectations borrowing target for next year
The Positives: The abolishment of the Dividend Distribution tax, 100% exemptions for the flows coming in through the sovereign wealth funds, raising the limit for FPI in corporate bonds to 15% (from 9%), focus on infrastructure push ( through the National Infrastructure pipeline) are likely to help garner foreign flows when domestic savings continue to decline.
The disappointments: No significant reforms for the power sector (expectations of UDAY 2.0) after a mixed performance of UDAY 1.0, lack of a bad bank (TARP style) solution for NBFCs to reduce the risk aversion in the system, no major reforms for the real estate sector, lack of any major counter-cyclical measures to boost consumption.

This union budget has some well thought out initiatives such as reduce income tax for individuals, emphasis on connecting India, saying No to pollution et al. The union budget’s emphasis on making transport sector more conducive by proposing INR 1.7 lakh crore for improving transport infrastructure and provisioning INR 2,500 crores to develop tourism industry is a welcome move. Strategic initiatives such as the development of Delhi-Mumbai expressway and 2 other corridors by 2023 will increase trade and commercial activities and provide livelihood to hundreds of thousands of families. It is a big boost to transport economy.”

Mr. Shobhit Mathur, Dean at Rashtram School of Public Leadership

“The announcement in the Union Budget of almost 1 Lakh Crore for the education sector is most welcome. Supporting research and innovation and increasing access to high quality higher education should be the priorities. The government should use the funds to set up a National Research Foundation (as suggested in the Draft New Education Policy) focussed exclusively on improving research and innovation. Additionally, to make higher education accessible, the government should subsidize student loans (rather than fund institutions). This will reduce the burden on households, promote competition for quality as students are free to choose high-quality institutions for their education.”

Duff & Phelps- Stories around the NBFC sector
“This policy move in the Budget 2020 is a very positive development considering the seriousness of the problems plaguing the NBFC sector, starting from the rumblings in major players like HDIL, ILFS, etc. and gradually trickling down. Apart from the refinance window made available by RBI to banks for financing NBFCs, this will further empower them to go for hard recovery measures and reduce the stress in their balance sheets. At a macro level, the NBFC sector has deep linkages with the banking sector and the problems there can have a multiplier effect on the entire financial system, engulfing the SFBs, coop banks also. The restoration of health of the NBFC sector has to be a priority given their relative efficiency in credit delivery and last mile reach.”

 

Industries feels that Budget 2020 will have a positive impact on growth

Intro: Electric Vehicle, Real Estate, and Start-ups are hopeful that there are micro details in Budget 2020 that might help these sectors or industries

The Union Budget 2020-21 introduced by Hon’ble Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman is very much appreciable on the note that a new optional income tax system is proposed for individual tax payers. “Now individual tax payers who are not willing to claim deductions under various provisions of the Income Tax Act are now provided with an option to pay tax at reduced tax rates which enables a tax payer to avail a beneficial option out of two “VIVAD SE VISHWAS SCHEME” will help to resolve long pending tax disputes. Waiver of interest and penalties would attract a lot of tax payers to opt for the scheme said CA Inderpal Singh Pasricha, Senior Partner, I. P. Pasricha & Co.

The impetus of government on the development of technology and making country Digital will go a long way in encouraging startups like us working in the domain. Also the government has allocated a fund of Rs 96000 crore on education will mean more students coming in and with them the responsibility of companies that are working in that domain such as the ones working on financing the students during the time of their education. The Budget is forward looking as its focus is the overall development of economy, which calls for a concerted effort from every sector to make India a USD 5 trillion economy said Mr. Jaijash Tatia, Co-founder, StuCred.

Real estate sector was hoping to get some announcements that could provide the much-needed boost to the sector. However, the Budget had very little to offer to the sector directly. Budget has touched upon the aspects that are going to boost the GDP including infrastructure spend, rural economy, income tax relief, Rs 4,400 crore allocated for cities to ensure clean air, and tax holiday on loan sanction for affordable housing. Commenting on the real estate Kshitij Nagpal, President, Association of Property Professionals, said, “Thrust on infrastructural development will have a direct bearing on the demand of real estate projects. Announcement like income tax relief, and ease in tax for Real Estate Transactions from 5% limit presently to 10% will make the fence sitters show interest in buying property. Real estate will definitely get benefit with the increasing demand. However, it would have been good if the FM had addressed the concerns of the developers related to land prices, raw material cost and time taken in getting permissions.”

India is the third biggest startup ecosystem in the world and the focus of the government has been was to provide a push to the innovative startups through policy interventions. Start-ups showed were positive about the announcements made in the Budget. Sparsh Khandelwal, founder, Stylework, a start-up operating in co-working aggregation domain, said, “From the Budget it is clear that the budding entrepreneurs will have ease of doing business as the FM announced that tax harassment will be stopped. Corporate tax reduction will also help the start-ups to prosper. Today’s Budget also has some announcements such as a five-year tax holiday on Esops, a 10-year tax exemption for startups with under Rs 100 crore turnover, a total of Rs 27,300 crore allocated to industry and commerce will also give a boost to the start-up story in India, and also talks of a seed fund to push new businesses.”

Another upcoming segment in Indian economy is the Electric Vehicle and it was waiting for positive announcements that could have helped in the growth of this sunrise sector. Sqn Ldr Prerana Chaturvedi, CEO and ED, Evolet, said, “We have been waiting for good but we haven’t heard anything significant. We have been patient and we will continue to be patient. Now we all agree that it is green and sunrise industry and if we have to pay respect to the sunrise industry then we have to stand with the industry. If we expect a start up to create a disruption then we have to support that sunrise industry.”

“Though there are no direct announcements for the electric vehicle segment, we can see ray of hope in announcements such as allocation of Rs 4,400 crore for cities to ensure clean air and relief in income tax. People will now have more disposable income at hand and this might trigger the demand for electric vehicles. However, the government should have abolished the custom duty of 5 percent on lithium-ion battery cells that could have made the EVs more affordable. The cost of batteries are high and we were expecting the Government will provide incentives for the sourcing of raw materials for EV battery manufacturing in India that would have helped in creating an EV-centric ecosystem,” she adds.