Industry experts react to Budget 2018

Here are some reactions on Budget 2018 from industry-experts.

Published: 02nd February 2018 12:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd February 2018 12:09 PM   |  A+A-

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presents the Union Budget at Parliament in New Delhi on Thursday. | PTI

By ANI

NEW DELHI: Here are some reactions on Budget 2018 from industry-experts 

Technology

Arvind Bali, CEO, Videocon Wallcam
The budget has a clear push towards socio-economic growth of the country with aggressive focus on agriculture, education, rural economy, healthcare and infrastructure. The allocations aimed towards rural India will increase consumption which boost industries and help in nation building. Focus on digital solution and new age technologies is a big push in terms of creating the right environment for the next level of development in India. The increase in customs duty will further boost 'Make in India'.

Real Estate

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.” - Sarjan Shah, MD, Group Satellite.

Pacific India Group

“The budget this year is a boost to ‘Make in India’ initiatives and aimed at a progressive development of the rural economy and growth of the entire country. The focus on infrastructure, social inclusion and progress, education, agriculture and healthcare are steps in the right direction. Though there is not much in terms of addressing the problems faced by the realty sector but the move towards no adjustment in case of the circle rate not exceeding 5 % of sale consideration is a welcome move.The standardd deduction for transport, medical reimbursement for salaried taxpayers and incentives for Senior citizens will help increase disposable income at hand.” –Abhishek Bansal, Executive Director of Pacific India Group.

Prashant Solomon, Managing Director, Chintels India and Hon. Treasurer, CREDAI NCR and Convenor of CREDAI National (Media and PR Committee)

“The budget has several incentives for the rural sector, women etc but I would have liked the benefits of tax reduction to be wide spread with more income tax rebates for middle and salaried classes in order to increase disposable income and boost spending power that will help the economy and our sector grow in the long run. Though there are no major incentives for the growth of real estate industry the re-introduction of LTCG will help in growth of other investment avenues.” 
“Concessions in the budget towards the affordable housing sector and the setting up of an Affordable Housing Fund under the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojna, will help the realty sector ancillaries grow. Though most of the recommendations that we had made on behalf of the real estate industry have not been addressed, the move towards no adjustment to be made in a case where the circle rate value does not exceed 5 percent of the consideration is a welcome move”.

Nagaraju Routhu, CEO of Hero Realty

“We must appreciate the fact that the government is very serious on the mission of housing for all and in the same light we have seen some extremely positive announcements in the budget today. The setting up of a separate fund for affordable housing is a welcome move as it will enable an efficient supply of housing projects in the country. The government move of the 5 percent deviation from circle rates to remove hardship is not enough as in many cases; the actual deviation of circle rates to prevailing market is as high as 30 percent.”

Education sector
Prof. (Dr.) Sanjay Gupta, Director General, World University of Design (WUD) 

“The overall measures have a strong impetus towards social inclusion and economic growth. The budgetary allocation of 1 lakh crore towards higher education and research is a welcome move. In terms of development of cities, the budget gives an added fillip to the smart cities mission and urbanisation along with the proposal to develop 10 prominent tourist destinations as iconic tourism destinations. This is where the proposal to open 18 new schools of planning and architecture in order to to generate skilled designers and architects will create the necessary impetus and awareness towards the importance of design in every aspect of education be it urban planning, architecture, management or engineering.” 
“The need for sustainable environment friendly urbanisation and preservation of the fabric of an old city syncing it with modern growth can be addressed aggressively with the right education and awareness. The Smart Cities programme is progressing well and with continued budgetary support, these cities will greatly benefit from a new ecosystem of infrastructure leveraged with modern digital solutions and new age technologies like Artificial Intelligence, digital manufacturing, big data intelligence, quantum communications and art of the things”.

Farhan Pettiwala, President, Enactus India

Education, Healthcare and Agriculture are strong focus areas of this budget – these are understandable and laudable steps. From a skill development perspective, I welcome the decision of government to Integrate teacher training program – under Right to Education Act – to further use technology to upgrade skills of teachers – thereby moving from black board to digital board. Reduction in Corporate tax for MSME firms (having turnover below `250 cr from 30 to 25 percent) will certainly leave more money with firms to expand their operations and businesses, thereby creating more employment opportunities. Whilst I appreciate that 70 lk formal jobs were created this year (as mentioned in Budget Speech), to achieve the VISION of generating large-scale employment, all policies should be about jobs, jobs and more jobs.

Finance Sector

Ranjeet S Mudholkar, Vice Chairman and CEO, Financial Planning Standards Board India (FPSB)
This Budget balances populism with pragmatism and, on a holistic basis, is good from Financial Planning perspective for long-term investing. There are slight benefits for salaried class taxpayers by way of Standard Deduction in lieu of Transport and Medical reimbursements. There are also incentives for senior citizens in exemption of interest income and exemption under Section 80D towards health insurance. The reintroduction of 10 percent long term capital gains on stocks exceeding Rs. 1 lakh gains might initially dampen spirits, however the provision of grandfathering of gains as of 31st January, 2018 for equity purchases up to six months prior will soothe this impact. The period of grandfathering may be extended until 31st March, 2018 to enable effective cash management and tax planning.

Entrepreneur

Ruby Sinha, Founder, sheatwork.com- a one stop knowledge hub for women entrepreneurs
Union Budget 2018 perfectly blends reforms and populism with a keen eye on fiscal discipline. FM Arun Jaitley makes a strong push for digitisation, infrastructure development and better quality of education. The move to integrate technology into education is a step in the right direction. The government’s initiative to provide 5 lakh WiFi hotspots in rural areas will allow more grassroot level internet-run businesses to come up. Measures announced for Small and Medium Enterprises will help budding enterprises and help them contribute to the growth in consumer-oriented sectors. Also, the initiative to increase loans to women self-help groups by 37 percent is welcome. However, there is a lot more that remains to be done to improve the state of women entrepreneurship in the country - like extended tax holidays so women are motivated to look beyond mere jobs and become entrepreneurs, leading to growth of the economy.

Auto Industry

Post Budget Reaction: Dharmesh Arora - CEO, Schaeffler India
Finance minister Arun Jaitley has presented a balanced budget. He has stayed on the growth momentum and allowed small widening of fiscal deficit in the short term to focus on continued growth agenda. There is a huge focus on infrastructure development towards road construction railways and air travel that bodes well for Union that bodes well for spurring economic activity in many sectors such as construction equipments, commercial vehicles in addition to the core sectors. 

The minimum support prices for the agriculture segment and higher budgetary allocation for the rural, agriculture and allied sectors should generate discretionary spending that is likely to spur consumption led demand and push rural economic growth. Relaxation of Corporate Tax on smaller industries shows positive intent in line with previous announcements of reduction of corporate taxes. This also means surplus cash available for capital expenditures and growth in those sectors.

All these initiatives together are expected to create a positive effect with respect to demand, generate employment and boost investments in the private sector. While the budget has refrained from providing any direction to the country’s automotive sector, we are hopeful that the impending EV policy will provide clarity. On the whole, we expect Budget 2018 to create a positive investment climate.

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