The Union Budget 2022-23 tabled in the Parliament by the Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman seeks to complement macro-economic level growth with a focus on micro-economic level all-inclusive welfare. Team Taazakhabar News reached out to people across the country to know their views about the budget. Here’s what a cross-section of people from the salaried and business class had to say:
Rakesh Jain, CEO, Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd.
The General Insurance Industry has played a stellar role in the country’s upliftment and its constituents over the years, particularly during the Covid Pandemic or during a dozen-odd Cyclones/floods that have been hitting our country almost on an annual basis. The industry has provided financial stability to millions of people and establishments, settling claims over Rs. 1.50 Lac Crores each year and growing. The status of the GI Industry is no less than the infrastructure industry as it leads to building many stabilizing foundations in sectors like Healthcare, Automotive, SME, Agriculture apart from risk transfers for Corporate and Individuals. As the Indian economy emerges stronger in years to come, the role of the GI Industry in taking care of unforeseen risks is almost imperative to ensure that disruptions are handled in an organized manner. The abysmal penetration of Insurance vis-à-vis global levels is a clear risk in this journey.
The Budget for the year 2022-23 has laid clear emphasis on the capital outlay, with the capital expenditure proposed to be enhanced to Rs.7.5 lakh crores at 2.9% of the GDP; over 35% increase than the last year. This is likely to result in the generation of capital assets across the country, with a focus on the infrastructure space. Such assets need to be insured, and the General Insurance industry in India is fully geared up to meet the country’s rising needs. Further, such creation of assets has cascading effects on employment, income and consumption. It improves an individual’s lifestyle and helps develop both the knowledge and the need to protect the assets and health of the family members through Insurance. This leads to a virtuous cycle for a secular growth of the General Insurance industry. There is also a move to use Surety Bonds, which the Insurance companies may issue under the framework of IRDA, as a substitute for Bank Guarantee in Government procurements and Gold imports. The move recognizes the ability of the Insurance industry to provide alternative products to the Banking sector, thus paving the way to reduce the cost and diversity risk.
A Ganesan, Group Vice Chairman, Neuberg Diagnostics –
Reduction of surcharge to 12% on Long Term Capital Gains is a welcome step. Unintentional errors in Income Tax can be corrected by filing updated returns within 2 years from the end of the Assessment year – This is a positive change.
A significant increase in Capital expenditure allocation by almost 35% will probably spur economic growth and create jobs. The extension of the emergency credit guarantee scheme is a step in the right direction. National Digital Health Ecosystem, National Tele Mental Health Programme – Very good initiatives if implemented well.
Amit Saraogi, Managing Director, Anmol Feeds, Chairman for Livestock Taskforce, CII for Eastern Regional Council
The livestock and animal husbandry sector contributes 4.11% to GDP and 25.6% to total agriculture GDP, yet there was inadequate attention presented to the sector in the Union Budget of 2022. Duty reduction on certain inputs required for shrimp aquaculture to promote its exports is a welcome move as it will further boost entrepreneurial mindset and help in job creation.
Lowering the production cost of shrimp hatchery and feed will promote growth in the sector. The fisheries and aquaculture sector has tremendous potential to generate livelihood and income. However, marine and dairy products were left untouched by the budget. Like announcements made for wheat and paddy farmers, MSP was needed to be fixed for the poultry sector as well. This would have benefited the poultry farmers to a large extent. The industry also expected a viable solution towards controlling the ever spiralling of the raw material prices as it has been plaguing the already overburdened industry. The budget for Blue Revolution has not been outlaid. The blended capital fund to startups for agriculture & rural enterprise will be valuable for the sector. Making optimum utilization of technology and IT in the farming sector is required for the modernization of the industry and keeping up with the post-digital world. While the development of infrastructure, roads and railways will also benefit the agriculture sector in terms of efficient logistical and supply chain management, the industry expected a lot more from the Budget to support farmers who are the backbone of our country.
Vinkesh Gulati – President FADA
Union Budget 2022 seeks to lay the foundation for the next 25 years, from India@75 to India@100. With PM’s ‘Gati Shakti National Master Plan’, a Rs 100-lakh crore project for building comprehensive infrastructure in India, it will be a significant step towards the path to development. The Budget has attempted to focus on each of the sectors and has also tried to stimulate the economy after the pandemic slowdown. FADA welcomes and supports the Government’s efforts & initiatives towards Electric Mobility. There is a clear emphasis on creative, sustainable & innovative business models. Battery Swapping & Energy as a Service (EAAS) will surely help accelerate the transition towards Clean Mobility. The development of special mobility zones for electric vehicles and promoting clean technology for public transport validate government commitment to E-mobility, which would boost confidence in the EV industry in terms of manufacturing, sales, and create a sense of assurance among customers.
The government’s plans for developing 25,000 kilometres of new highways will result in a push for infrastructure spending, which will result in an increase in Commercial Vehicle sales, as well as an addition of 2,000 kilometres of road under a new scheme known as ‘Kavach’ will be an additional benefit to the revival of this segment. With the extension of the ECLG scheme, it is a remarkable move by the government to support the MSME sector coming out of the slowdown caused by pandemics.
Rural India has generally been the key driver for the entry-level passenger vehicle segment & 2wheeler space. With government plans on 2.3 lakh crore direct payment as MSP to farmers, it will work as a booster for 2Wheeler, Tractor & entry-level PV sector sales. However, an additional duty of rupees 2/ litre on unblended fuel from October 2022, could play a spoilsport for the already stressed 2W industry.
Dr C.J. Vetrievel – Founder Chairman & Managing Director, Be Well Hospitals, Chennai
The finance minister highlighted the need to have accessible healthcare across rural parts of the country. With our aim to also provide infrastructure and health services in sub-urban and peri-urban regions, we believe that accessible healthcare is the need of the hour. We thank the finance minister and the Central Government for recognizing the efforts taken by the healthcare sector in tackling the pandemic as well as accelerating the nationwide vaccination drive. We have been seeing the importance given to Mental Health since the beginning of the pandemic and now that has also taken a significant position in the Union Budget 2022 – 2023. The need to pay attention to one’s mental health has been well addressed in the budget where allocation of funds to set up a ‘National Tele Mental Health Programme’ is proposed. This move will create more awareness among the public and the need to prioritize mental health & overall wellbeing. The overall impetus towards primary healthcare and public healthcare is a welcomed initiative. This is a visionary budget with long term unprecedented infra spending. This provides impetus to all sectors due to the ripple effect. The allocation of funds for healthcare, being a core infra sector, could have however been better.
Vikas Bajaj, President, AIFI (Association of Indian Forging Industry)
This Union budget focuses on investing more on infrastructure and renewable energy, which will indirectly support employment generation. Apart from that, the government has focused on strengthening the logistics sector, digital education, health infrastructure etc. which is a welcome move.
Apart from encouraging EV by creating a battery swapping strategy to overcome EV charging infrastructure, I believe there isn’t much in the budget to support the auto sector as was expected. Also, not much changed in the Direct Tax rates for Corporates as well as individuals except incentives for start-ups by extension of timeline for the start of production u/s 115BAB. Some industries, such as jewellery, have benefited from reduced customs duties on precious stones and other commodities. Finally, to assist the MSME sector, the ECLGC scheme has been extended for MSE’s till 31st March 2023”.
Farrokh Cooper – Chairman & Managing Director – Cooper Corporation Pvt Ltd
The Union budget 2022-23 announced by the finance minister has shown a progressive and futuristic approach for all sectors in India, which will help boost the Indian economy and recover from the pandemic. The government has taken some prudent initiatives for MSMEs in this budget, and I believe that their approach to fast-tracking the economy by providing opportunities to start-ups and businesses and creating six million new jobs will not only boost the economy but will support our future generation with an advantage above all. The government’s support for manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, MSMEs, and infrastructure as well as the expansion of 100 PM Gati Shakti Cargo terminals over the next three years, are encouraging steps toward a brighter and more successful India in the coming years.