The Corporates in India expressed mixed reactions on corporate taxation and encouraged the agricultural and healthcare benefit schemes introduced in the Union Budget 2018 by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today.
Here are the few excerpts from industry leaders,
Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group said "In a Populous, agrarian country, a Populist, Pre-election budget can be Pro-growth! I'm biased since it ignites growth in our key rural. So instead, I'll laud the budget for health insurance for 10cr people. That's a REAL step towards becoming a developed society".
Rana Kapoor, MD & CEO, YES Bank, said "The FM has provided a panoptic flavor to the FY19 Union Budget. The admirable 'All-in' Budget has delivered beyond expectations in a bid to reinvigorate growth that is sustainable and equitable, leveraging fully on the available fiscal space.
In the backdrop of past reforms culminating into early green shoots for investments, a credible rise in allocation for infrastructure by 21,% accompanied by broadening of corporate tax relaxation for MSMEs, a chiseled focus on generating livelihood creation in agriculture and rural sectors via new Operation Green and National Health Protection schemes, incentives to enhance employment in labor-intensive sectors of textile, leather and footwear will ensure a stronger consumption and investment impetus in FY19. In addition, the global economy led (the) revival in exports will truly allow India's growth to become multi-dimensional henceforth.
The fiscal strategy appears to be channelizing spending to sectors that have the potential to maximize backward and forward linkages in the economy through capacity enhancement and job creation. Notwithstanding the absence of fiscal consolidation in FY18 on account of GST implementation, the Government has committed to (a) credible fiscal tightening in FY19 and to follow the path of fiscal prudence by accepting the recommendations of the FRBM Panel. In my view, the Budget transmits the right 'economic signals', and will definitely find favor among all economic stakeholders.
I would rate this Budget 9/10".
Commenting on the just presented Union Budget, Mr. D Venkat, CEO, Strides India Consulting, said the following - "The biggest good news from the budget is for the education sector. Specifically, the announcement that 1000 of the country's top engineering (BE/B Tech) students will be chosen to become PM research fellows - and thus get eligible to pursue their doctorate programs at IIT's or IISc's - will be a big boost to merit in education. This scheme will also make professional colleges in the country rise (raise) the bar to churn out good students from their institutions.
Besides this, the announcement to launch the RISE (Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education) will also give the much-needed impetus to the quality of education infrastructure in the country. Looks this revenue that accrue from the one percentage point increase in health and education cess will go towards this cause, which is a very welcome long-term investment."
"Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley has placed a huge emphasis on agriculture and rural India, allocating (the) bulk of resources to interior landscape, while helping the middle-class salaried employees along with relief to senior citizens, measures which would boost consumer demand and help revive economic growth", said ASSOCHAM president, Mr. Sandeep Jajodia.
"The budget is on expected lines and provides support to sections of the society, where it was needed the most. The FM and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi know how to put the money where the mouth is. The Agri and rural landscape were in some kind of distress and provision of over Rs 14.34 lakh crore to be spent on rural infrastructure should also add to the employment generation especially in the farm sector," said Mr. Jajodia. "This money would come from non-budgetary sources."
"Relief to the salaried employees by way of Rs 40,000 per annum would leave more disposable income in the hands of the middle class and boost consumer demand," added the ASSOCHAM president.
According to FICCI President Mr. Rashesh Shah,"It will drive consumption in a big way, thus helping growth in other related sectors". Shah added that "The Budget is very much in line with the expectations of FICCI".
"While we see a clear focus on the infrastructure sector development in the rural areas, the plans for such development in the urban areas including wider connectivity across the length and breadth of the country have also got the needed attention in the budget," according to Mr. Shah.
"The announcement on the cryptocurrency by the FM should not be misinterpreted to mean the cryptocurrency is going to be discouraged by the Government. The intention is more likely to regulate the circulation to avoid its usage for illegal transactions. In addition, the Government has recognized the viability of blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrency. Efforts should be made to bring in regulations at the earliest to achieve this aim". said Rashmi Deshpande, Associate Partner, Khaitan&Co
On budget allocation for the Textile Industry, the heads of the industry shared their views.
Sanjay Jain, Chairman, Confederation of Indian Textile Industry, said that the "Allocation for Textile Industry increased from Rs. 6000 cr to Rs. 7148 crore - thanks to govt but falls much short of what was needed to take care of (the) backlog of ROSL & TUF and current year requirement."
South India Mills Association, welcomed the move and said that the "Allocation of Rs.7,148 cr to boost apparel and made up exports, 12% EPF for first three yrs, and extension of fixed-term employment for all segments (earlier only for apparel and made-ups) welcomed".
"Finance Minister clarifies that Cryptocurrencies shall not be deemed as legal tender and strict actions might be taken against investors in Cryptocurrencies. However, he also mentioned that Govt. can explore ways (of) for using the blockchain technology for digital transactions. If it is not considered as legal tender, whether any transaction in it will be subject to GST or not is yet to be clarified." said Rakesh Bhargava, Director of Taxmann.
Sanjit Prasad, MD & CEO, Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX) said that "The announcement of considering a mandate to large corporates for accessing bond market to meet about one-fourth of their financing needs reflects the Government's impetus on reviving the bond market on Exchange platform. Another announcement of increasing focus on Agri derivatives will strengthen our financial infrastructure and connect India to Bharat. We welcome such progressive reforms to strengthen the exchange market ecosystem".
Siddharth Sood, Co-Founder of Wildcraft said "This budget brought benefit to the manufacturing companies like incentives for job creation. This will help us not only improve our offering but will also create more jobs, in addition to the 4000 associates that we currently employ".