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Budget reactions

Published in General Thursday, 01 February 2018 15:28

Prof. Ashutosh Dash, Associate Professor, Finance, MDI Gurugram

"The budget speech indicates government to focus on the rural sector to create more jobs by 2020. This will require more fund allocation towards the education sector and human resource development sector. The government should also continue creating the environment that ensures ‘ease of doing business’. This will lead to more investments by the private sector and create further jobs for the students completing their formal education."

Sarjan Shah,  Managing Director, Group Satellite


“Disappointing budget from the perspective of private sector involvement in creating mass housing stock that will make homeownership a reality for all Indians. Budget has unfortunately ignored the stressed and vilified real estate sector that is in desperate need of Government support through specific targeted tax breaks that help make building affordable homes in India viable.”  Mr. Sarjan Shah, MD, Group Satellite


Aniketh Jain, CEO & Co-Founder of Solutions Infini Pvt. Ltd. 


"This year's budget's crucial step has been the deduction in corporate tax by 25% with turnover upto Rs.250 Cr. This will create a balance in the economy by disseminating the disparities between startups and large scale enterprises. Startups can invest the same in other useful interventions. Government's outlook towards strengthening agriculture, health, education and employment are positive notes that envision national development. The world's largest healthcare programme called the Ayushman Bharat Program is an unexpected yet a fruitful initiative that's announced in budget 2018. Fiscal scenario and farm deficit are given utmost significance and rightly addressed so, for the overall health of the Indian economy. The Fiscal deposit is expected to drop down to 3.3% in the coming year from the current 3.5% in 2017-2018. Tax incentives to senior citizens make sense."


Vivek Agarwal, Co-founder, M-tech Informatics Ltd

We welcome the Budget 2018 by the Honorable Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The Union Budget 2018 is a growth oriented budget with enormous push for health, agriculture, education and infrastructure, which we believe will usher in healthy economic growth in the years to come. Speaking specifically of mobile phone industry, we are glad that our demand of increasing customs duty on mobile phone CBU [completely built units] imports to 20 % from the existing 15 % has been met. This will prevent dumping of phones in the Indian market,  boost domestic manufacturing and provide a level playing field to home grown brands. The announcement is in line with the objectives of the Make in India initiative.

Surendra Hiranandani, CMD, House of Hiranandani
I would term it as a pro farmers budget with a slew of measures well directed towards improving productivity in agriculture. With the increase in MSP for crops, thrust on organic farming, doubling the expenditure allocated to food processing sector, liberalization of agricultural exports, creating state of the art facilities at food parks, push to fisheries and allied sector, measures for senior citizens, this budget truly focused on uplifting the life of the “aam aadmi”. The introduction of various schemes in these areas will certainly bridge the rural-urban divide in the future. The announcements in the areas of healthcare in particular are path breaking and will empower the poor and under privileged sections of the society.
While there was no direct benefit to the real estate sector from the budget, some measures announced  will positively impact the sector. The announcement of a dedicated affordable housing fund in the National Housing Bank (NHB) funded from priority sector lending shortfall and fully serviced bonds authorized by the Indian government is a welcome move and could act as a catalyst in the government's vision of “Housing for All by 2022”.  The move to allow a variation of 5% between transaction value and circle rates for computation of capital gains will not impact transactions significantly in any of the metropolitan cities in India. The massive push for improvement in infrastructure, including significant capital expenditure for roads, railways and development of smaller airports will indirectly benefit the real estate sector in the long run.
One of the concerns is the inability to meet the fiscal deficit in spite of surpassing the divestment target. New measures adopted for reducing the deficit might push up the yields leading to higher interest rates for both corporates and households. Investors in particular will not be pleased with Long Term Capital Gains on sale of equity and mutual fund investments. We could see some flight of capital from equity to the real estate class on the back of this move. The salaried class too stood to gain very little as the standard deduction of Rs 40,000 will provide nominal benefits to them.
We had certainly anticipated more for the real estate sector which is the second largest employment generator in the economy after agriculture. It seems the entire focus of the government was on the latter while undermining the importance of real estate to the economy.

AdeebAhamed, Managing Director, Lulu Exchange Holdings and Twenty14 Holdings

The Union Budget for 2018-19, presented by ArunJaitley is quite conservative with greater emphasis on improving agri-economy along with infrastructure and healthcare sectors. Through the various initiatives like universal health care, higher MSP for farmers, emphasis on education and entrepreneurship, the government has stressed on building a strong foundation for a new India.

On an NRI perspective, the budget does not have anything to write home about. We expected certain tax reforms relating to investments in India by NRIs, but the business community will be disappointed with the oversight.

Ample provision has been given to the development of roads, railways and new airports across underserved cities, which will not only help develop trade, but also promote tourism and subsequent infrastructure. We also welcome the government’s decision to promote 10 prominent tourism sites to iconic status. All these announcements will positively enhance the domestic tourism sector in India.

The budget has provided further thrust on the digital innovation in the country, including looking at the use of blockchain technology. This is a welcome move by the government as digital innovation is transforming both governance delivery and creation of breakthrough services by the private sector.

Furthermore, the budget has
been kind to the MSME sector offering reduced corporate tax to companies under them. The continued support for Smart City programs through continued budgetary support will greatly benefit from a new ecosystem of infrastructure leveraged on the thrust of using technology as the backbone.

Vijay Thadani, VC and MD, NIIT Ltd

"It is a progressive budget with the right emphasis on training of teachers, use of technology and funding for research.
 Among the positive steps for the education sector, Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) by 2022 with a total investment of Rs 1,00,000 crore in next four years stood out. The fact that the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) would be suitably structured for funding this initiative is a much appreciated provision.
Increase in digital intensity in education and envisaging move from ‘‘black board’’ to ‘‘digital board’’; using technology to upgrade the skills of teachers through a digital portal "Diksha"; national program on artificial intelligence under the aegis of Niti Aayog; mission on Cyber Physical Systems and a test bed for 5G technology at IIT Chennai were among the other encouraging initiatives", added Thadani.


 Chander Baljee, Managing Director, Royal Orchid Hotels
Commenting on the proposed Union Budget for FY2018-19, Chander Baljee, Managing Director of Royal Orchid Hotels. Said- “This is an inclusive budget with prime focus on agriculture, healthcare, education and infrastructure sector. Though there is no direct mention of hospitality sector in the proposed Union Budget, however, various measures to enhance disposable income and the government’s plan to increase the airport capacity to handle one billion trips a year will augur well for mid-segment hotels.
The conversion of ten prominent tourist destinations as iconic and model destinations will boost the hospitality and tourism sector in India. The scheme to magnify the visitor experience at 110 Model Monuments under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under the National Heritage City Augmentation scheme of the government will help develop properties in these destinations by keeping their heritage in mind. We at Royal Orchid Hotels have started expanding our properties to Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. Increased investment in infrastructure will help boost travel among the masses thus increasing the business for hospitality and tourism sector.

Harsh Jagnani, Vice President and Sector Head Corporate ratings, ICRA

The Budget has laid emphasis on developing the airport infrastructure in the country which is lagging the robust growth in air traffic (passenger traffic is expected to cross 300 mn passengers in FY2018 after having crossed 265 mn passengers in FY2017). Government’s plan to increase the capacity by five times is a positive development and is targeted to meet the future air traffic growth in the country.

The budget has increased the planned capital outlay for the ministry of civil aviation to Rs. 4,086 crore in FY2018-19 from Rs. 2,543 crore in FY2017-18, which is in line with government’s focus on development of infrastructure. AAI, the nodal authority for owing and managing airports, has been undertaking airport infrastructure up-gradation for last few years. Given the ambitious target of increasing capacity by five times, AAI is expected to play a greater role and increase the pace of infrastructure development. The budget proposal of leveraging AAI’s healthy balance sheet is expected to generate sizeable resources for AAI to undertake required capacity enhancement initiatives.


George Alexander Muthoot, MD, Muthoot Finance Ltd

The budget has adopted simple strategies to keep the enthusiasm high. It focuses on doing business with much ease and in transparent manner, continued efforts to lower fiscal deficit to achieve lower interest rate scenario and continued thrust on MSME sector by providing easy access to credit.
The government has put in unwavering efforts to reach out to the underserved and provide them with financial services. The financial inclusion is on the right path with an environment of easy financing options. 

The government has focused on key social spending like education and healthcare thereby improving the quality of life of lower income group. So in all the budget aims at inclusive growth with its reforms, generate employment and support the bottom of the pyramid entrepreneurs. The plan to revamp the Gold monetization scheme is a welcome move. There is 21,000 tons of gold with the general public. Through this process the idle asset at home will become productive, energizing the economy. This will bring in the household gold into the market. Thus reducing the need for import, and saving on valuable foreign exchange. 

Nikhil Aggarwal, CEO, Campus Footwear

"We Welcome the increase in custom duty from 10% to 20% on footwear industry, a great move to boost “make in india” by the finance minister and we congratulate him for the same. Also the 2600 crore allocation to the leather and footwear industry, will auger well for job creation in the country. Budget 2018 has a lot for the 40% of the agricultural and rural population base, the national health cover and MSP is a fantastic step, which would result in generation of disposable income and inclusive growth for years to come"

Suramya Nevatia, CEO of Hind Rectifiers Ltd.

Commenting on the proposed Union Budget for FY2018-19, Suramya Nevatia, CEO of Hind Rectifiers Ltd. Said: “This is an overall inclusive growth augmented budget with special emphasis on the backbone of the economy: Agriculture, Health, Education and Infrastructure. We welcome the finance minister’s announcement of allocating Rs 1.48 lakh crore towards capital expenditure for Indian Railways, which is the highest ever amount provided till date for this sector. The Railway’s focus on modernization of signaling and safety systems along with optimum electrification will not only enhance the efficiency but can also move a large amount of trade traffic from road to railways”.
“Most ancillary companies affiliated with rail infrastructure should benefit on account of  this huge proposed capex allocated towards rail infrastructure”.

Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, OYO

“This year's Union Budget stood for entrepreneurship, employment and quality of life. The announcements made today will benefit MSMEs, including small hotels. At OYO, we have a network of over 3500 exclusively controlled hotels in the MSME sector and we believe that the budget presented today will facilitate the growth of our partners. The Mudra Loan allocation of INR 3 lakh crore will help in enabling SMEs to generate more jobs while creating thousands of new entrepreneurs too. One major change which we were expecting was GST being levied on the actual price rather than the declared tariff for hotel accommodation. We'll continue to engage with the government to make this happen which will leave no room for litigation and benefit the hospitality industry.
The government's decision of developing 10 model destinations across India and investing in strengthening the country's airport network and infrastructure will boost the tourism sector.
 The reduction of corporate tax is a welcome move but we are hoping the limit to be pegged higher than INR 250 crore so as to benefit more corporate entities. We appreciate the measures taken by the government to keep the alarming pollution levels in control. This is a major step towards ensuring the quality of life for citizens."

Aniketh Jain, CEO & Co-Founder of Solutions Infini Pvt. Ltd.

"Cryptocurrency is not a legal proposition and the usage of the same is discontinued by the government. However, the usage and need of block chain technologies is not discouraged and will be looked upon case by case, which is a positive sign. cryptocurrency which is powered by Bitcoin is the digital currency that has raised quite a buzz in the investment market. According to reports, several banks posses frozen account cryptocurrencies in India while ROC (Registrar of Companies) has stopped companies to act in such exchanges. The underlying assets of cryptocurrencies have been volatile with heavy price fluctuations. The roots of the cryptocurrencies and the related transactions are not extravagantly transparent making them more questionable. Hackers are gaining most out of this scenario as the difficulty of tracing the roots of accounts and transactions are very high. There have been several instances where the accounts of the investors have been prone to hacker attacks and there's no established mechanism to revive the accounts from the hackers. The vulnerabilities of losing the money invested in these accounts is extremely high as there are no pre conceived notions to revive the hacker's attack, paving them ways to swag the wealth."

Sanjay Bahl, CEO and MD, Centum Learning
1. The focus on digital education is a very positive step towards Digital India. Digital education will be one of the biggest drivers of skill development in the country leading to employment opportunities for empowerment of its citizens. The Finance Minister has rightly recognized the most critical aspect, which is taking a step towards technology enabled learning solutions. Industry will welcome the move of shift from blackboard to digital education.
2. The launch of Sankalp to skill youth and increase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras will give major impetus and thrust to the skill development movement in India. The initiative to establish India International Skill Centres to offer advanced training and courses in foreign languages will not only help our skilled manpower to seek job opportunities outside our country but also make these skilling programs aspirational.
3. In my opinion, for the most part, the Finance Minister has presented us with a conducive environment by creating policies that would lead to skill development and employment generation. The announcement of creation of 70 lakh job opportunities will contribute positively towards building a robust economy.  Job creation will mean getting skilled manpower for those jobs which is a good sign for the skilling industry.
4. One of the area which we were looking forward was GST exemption on all skill development programs. But looking at various other announcements supporting the skill development arena , I would like to congratulate the Finance Minister for a very forward looking budget.
Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, UBM India
“The measures of the Union Budget 2018 holds out quite a lot for the T&T industry and is expected to, on the whole, boost the sector. Looking at developing and marketing untapped tourist spots is always advisable in a saturated and competitive market. That the Budget proposes to develop 10 sites as iconic tourist destinations  and upgrade monuments under the Archeological Survey of India is extremely encouraging.
“The Budget seeks to improve what India is already gifted with. Measures such as raising the airport capacity by 5 times under the UDAN scheme, improving rail networks in Mumbai and Bengaluru, addressing the critical air pollution situation in Delhi/NCR will increase India’s attractiveness to tourists within India & abroad.
“It is good to sometimes cleanse the system and structure from within and make optimal use of available resources --The Union Budget feels this is required for the sector.
“Significantly, the Budget has proposed to cut the corporate income tax rate to 25 percent for companies with a turnover of upto Rs 250 crore. This would help plenty of SMEs that are aspiring to make a different in the T&T market. 
Travel in India is destined to boom and the Budget has shown us the roadmap.”







Last modified on Saturday, 03 February 2018 12:37

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