The biggest question in everyone’s mind today is — how Nirmala Sitharaman’s first-ever digital Budget transform India into a land of promise and hope? Also, would the Budget include every citizen and section of the society in the march towards growth and development?
Taazakhabar News reached out to a cross-section of people to get a glimpse of the public opinion as to how the Budget 2021 focused on the common man and his needs. Here’s what the opinion leaders in different sections of the society have to say about the budget.
CH S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao, MD & CEO, Punjab National Bank
We welcome the measures announced by Hon’ble Finance Minister in Union Budget 2021-22. The budget rightly strikes a reasonable balance between addressing the key pillars of Health & Well-being, Inclusive Development, Human Capital, Innovation and R&D, apart from laying the path for a robust economy by providing a major infrastructure boost. The array of measures announced are in line with people as well as market expectations and will go a long way to bring the nation back on track by boosting spending on infrastructure and rural development while fighting the pandemic through health-focused measures.
Ratul Puri-Chairman-Hindustan Power
“The thrust of the Budget is on reviving the economy. It is positive and refreshing in its scope and scale. All the announcements are forward-looking and will put India back on the growth trajectory. The announcement of ₹3.59 trillion packages for discoms is encouraging and will reform the ailing power distribution sector. Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s focus on improving the financial health of state power utilities will ensure consumers get more choices as it will promote competition, reliable power supplies and make the sector attractive to foreign investors, besides giving an overall boost to the industry.
The Budget has also given a boost to the non-conventional energy sector by allocating Rs 1,000 crore to solar energy corporation and Rs 1,500 to renewable energy development agency. It is a welcome move.”
Randhir Chauhan, Managing Director, Netafim India and Senior Vice President, Netafim Ltd
“The Union Budget clearly highlights the Government’s continued focus to modernize the Agri sector. We welcome the announcement of an additional allocation of Rs. 5,000 cr to the Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) under NABARD which now totals Rs. 10,000 cr. This is in line with the Government’s vision of ‘per drop more crop’, and will help move closer to the target of micro-irrigation coverage across 1 crore ha in five years, across the country. In order to improve the fund utilization, we request policymakers to remove the condition of disbursement (which is only against additional subsidy) and consider to make it available for the mandatory state share as well. The additional fund could keep the momentum up in states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka which are already in favour of the scheme, help restart in states like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and bring newer states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, etc. under its gamut.”
Rajesh Sharma, Managing Director, Capri Global Capital Ltd
“The Budget has clearly kept the focus on boosting economic growth. Emphasizing to make India self-reliant and strengthen the country’s position in the global economic landscape, the Finance Minister has given systematic importance to the NBFC sector through a slew of measures that will ease the lending business. The reduction in the loan limit from Rs 5 million to Rs 2 million under the SARFAESI act for NBFCs, with a minimum asset size of Rs 100cr and above, would mean that the debt recovery can enforce the security interest for lower ticket size loans. This will help the NBFCs to improve their ability to recover smaller loans and strengthen the overall financial health. Allotment of 20, 000 crores for bank recapitalization and setting up an ARC to take care of NPAs of stressed banks and manage through alternative investment funds would securitize the irrecoverable loans. Extend the eligibility of erstwhile tax sop on a home loan by an additional one year up to FY’22 is welcoming support to de-bottleneck issues surrounding the affordable housing segment.”
Seema Prem, CEO and Co-Founder, FIA Global
“The budget this year has given significant support to the startup ecosystem that will help turbocharge their growth. The concept of OPCs with an option to convert into any other type of company at any time, reducing residency limit for an Indian citizen to set up an OPC from 182 days to 120 days, and allow also non-resident Indians to incorporate OPCs in India will certainly boost innovation. Collateral free loans and fund of funds for MSMEs will stimulate growth and provide solace to MSMEs hit by the pandemic.
The portability of One nation, one ration card will be a boon for migrant workers and speedy implementation will ensure that migrants can move across boundaries without worrying about access to ration. The additional allocation to MNREGS will provide substantial relief to workers whose livelihood has been impacted by the pandemic”
Vinkesh Gulati – President, Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA)
“FADA is happy to note that the Finance Minister has finally announced the much-awaited Scrappage Policy, though voluntary to phase out old vehicles. If we take 1990 as the base year, there are approximately 37L CVs and 52L PVs eligible for voluntary scrappage. As an estimate, 10% of CV and 5% of PV may still be plying on road. We still need to see the fine prints to access the kind of incentives which will be on offer and thus have a +ve effect on retail.
The 6,575 km Highway works proposed in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and Assam and another 19,500 km work for Bharat Mala project will definitely add fillip to the much-needed revival of Commercial Vehicles especially M& HCV segment.
Government’s reduction of customs duty on steel products to 7.5% will benefit Auto OEMs. We hence expect the benefit to trickle down to end customers thus helping in boosting demand. While we expected disposable income for individuals to increase with the enhancement of IT slabs and depreciation benefit on vehicles for individuals, the same has not been taken into consideration.”
Kamal Khetan, Chairman and Managing Director, Sunteck Realty Ltd
“The Union Budget has packed some great ideas and a definite direction for strong economic growth ahead, especially through infrastructure, capital expansion and banking and financial services. For real estate, the move to extend the tax holiday available for the purchase of affordable houses as well as for the affordable rental housing projects is a welcoming move as it would further strengthen the confidence among both developers and homebuyers. The move will certainly prompt more demand, especially among first-time buyers who generally fall in the lower and mid-income segments. Also, the extension of the tax holiday on affordable housing projects for developers by another year will increase the project launches in this segment as they would get additional time and resources. Apart from this, the mega infrastructure development and up gradation to be undertaken across India will add much value to the real estate sector.”
Preethaa Ganesh, Vice President, Vels Group of Institutions, Chennai
“We acknowledge the initiative taken by the central government to make India a preferred destination for higher education. Towards the same, the proposal of Ind-SAT comes in as a boon as this will help in boosting the education scenario in India by bringing in more foreign candidates. Enhancing online education by introducing full-fledged education programmes will majorly benefit the students of the deprived section of the society. Increase in apprenticeship embedded degree/diploma courses by March 2021 will result in providing more internship opportunities to fresh engineers thereby creating a wholesome job environment. In addition to this, we feel that the sum allocated for skill development and training of teachers will give us room to create a better work environment and deliver a higher quality of education.”
Dr. Alok Khullar, CEO, Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai
“The budget’s focus to strengthen the Indian healthcare infrastructure is really welcoming as it will help us to be well-prepared to handle disease outbreaks/pandemic. This move will reduce the burden on healthcare workers and ensure increased accessibility for receiving critical and emergency care. Initiatives to promote fitness and sanitation will help in preventing lifestyle issues and reduce the probability of disease outbreak among the rural areas. The proposed set-up for a viability gap funding window to set up hospitals in PPP mode will help healthcare institutions to expand their network to smaller districts. The PM Jan Arogya Yojana would be a real boost that would help the Indian population to receive advanced technology care in their hometowns and reduce their burden of travelling to metro cities. However, the decision to levy a 5 per cent cess on import of medical equipment could have been avoided, as it’s used for advanced life-saving measures and helps India to be abreast with high technologies used around the world for healthcare.”
Dr. Arun Kalyanasundaram, Director, Pro-med Hospital, Chennai
“The increased allocations for healthcare will boost the country’s healthcare sector and help in the generation of more jobs and availability of skilled professionals that would help in meeting the increasing demand for accessible and affordable healthcare. The budget has adequate importance to preventive healthcare which is the need of the hour. After a difficult year for the healthcare sector, we hope that the announced measures would reduce the burden in the sector and we also look forward to working with the Govt to ensure quicker and faster administration of Covid-19 vaccines for all. The set-up of an increased number of healthcare facilities will improve the healthcare network and reduce the turnaround of avoidable mortalities.”