‘Budget focuses on social agenda’

ST CORRESPONDENT
Sunday, 2 February 2020

City industrialists reacted positively to the Union Budget presented on Saturday and described it as a budget with a focus on social agenda, good governance and improving the ease of living of the people.

Pune: City industrialists reacted positively to the Union Budget presented on Saturday and described it as a budget with a focus on social agenda, good governance and improving the ease of living of the people. Although industrialists termed the budget as people centric, they also expected a strong implementation of the assurances announced in the Budget.

Sharing  his views on the Union Budget, President, Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA), Pradeep Bhargava, said “We must appreciate the government for coming up with a people centric budget and improving the governance through GST and other tax reforms. What disappoints me is that government had announced investment of Rs 100 lakh crore in infrastructure over the next 5 years which means Rs 20 lakh crore on an annual basis and there is no further clarity on that. Similarly, the FM spoke on disinvestment and there are hundreds of public sector companies but there is no clarity on that too,”   Bhargava added.

Sharing his view, Director General, MCCIA, Prashant Girbane, said that the Budget expect 10 per cent nominal growth this year which is better. “A fiscal deficit of 3.8 per cent as announced is managebale. The boost to agriculture was very much important and along with digital rural connectivity, it would have a multiplier effect. It will be wonderful to have periodic press meetings from the ministry on infrastructure investment. The focus on MSME is good move.”

The business leaders who had assembled for budget viewing session hosted by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Pune opined the Union Budget 2020 as positive and proactive.

CII Pune Zonal Council, Chairman,General Manager, Building Technologies & Solutions, India and Managing Director, Johnson Controls India Pvt Ltd, Shrikant Bapat said that the budget was largely on the expected lines and the proposals hold a lot of promise. Welcoming the introduction of taxpayers’ charter as a part of Income Tax Act and abolition of Dividend Tax, Bapat said, “The finance minister has spelt of a number of structural changes in the fiscal regime of the country, the success of which will have to be observed over the next four years. The provisions in the budget encouraging role of emerging technologies like IoT, artificial intelligence, data analytics and quantum computing will be helpful for India’s growth.”

Alakesh Roy Vice Chairman, CII Pune Zonal Council and Managing Director, Zamil Steel India & General Director, Zameel Steel Vietnam, said the budget has some long-term measures for building of India as an economic super power. Roy said,  “The proposals relating to fund allocation on developing infrastructure with expansion of BharatNet project will define a new India.  Abolition of DDT will be a positive for both foreign investors and Indian retail investors as they can manage their taxes better. The new simplified and straight-forward tax structure for individual taxpayers will be attractive for the young generation tax payers who don’t have many exemptions to claim.” 

Sachit Nayak, Convenor, CII Pune Finance & Taxation Panel and Country Controller and Finance Director – India, Eaton said, “DDT abolishment is a positive, as this will make India an attractive investment destination for global players and special impetus on power generation ensures to bring out a positive growth in the sector.”

He said, “Government’s grant of 100% exemptions for sovereign wealth funds in the infrastructure space and other notified priority sector will improve the overall debt market. With couple of disinvestments like LIC IPO and full privatisation of IDBI Bank, the government should be able to amplify its divestment target. The nominal GDP growth in 2020-21 estimated at 10% is probably realistic. Under the circumstances, fiscal deficit target of 3.8% is good for 2020. The fundamentals of the economy are strong and this will ensure macro-economic stability going forward.”

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