BENGALURU: All eyes are on this budget after the pandemic has impacted lives in a big way. Expectations are high from the union budget which will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Feb. 1. Bengalureans across various fields tell CE what they look forward to.
We expect the government to relook at the compliances and licences policy. Waiver of licence fee, especially excise, for a year will be highly appreciated as most restaurants paid for the licences before the pandemic hit the nation and lockdown was announced. Also, input on GST will further give the industry a boost. The government could also consider extending MSME working capital loans to the industry on subsidised rates. Vineet Kochar, president, operations, Mamagoto, Sly Granny, and Foxtrot
Permitting commercial establishments to be open for 24 hours in Bengaluru is a great move. But this has to be supported with the right infrastructure in terms of public transport facilities. Government initiatives should extend to public transport timings. This will enable a culture of being able to go out at any time of the day, which will in turn prove beneficial for most commercial establishments and industries.
It would be great if the government could take a leaf out of UK’s ‘Eat Out Help Out’ scheme, which aims at supporting F&B businesses in the post-Covid economy. Removal of the input tax credit in the GST regime has proven detrimental to the industry. Re-introducing it will go a long way in supporting the entire supply chain involved.Prathik Shetty Partner, The Reservoire Cocktail Bar and Two Ounces
COVID-19 has had a massive impact on the amusement parks business with no revenue for more than eight months at a stretch. Considering the initial investments and gestation period, the GST for the amusement parks should be reduced to 12 per cent, from the existing 18 per cent. Amusement parks cater to all customer segments and the share from B2B customers is less compared to walk-ins. It would be good to exempt amusement parks from e-invoicing and treat us at par with the cinema halls. Arun Chittilappilly, managing director, Wonderla Holidays
This budget, the central government has to reduce and normalise the taxes and duties on fuel. With a litre of petrol now costing `90 , monthly fuel bills are eating into household budgets for other items. With poor public transport options, we are forced to use our own vehicles, so it is only reasonable for the government to reduce taxes on fuel. Jigya Kothari, B.Com student, Mount Carmel College
We need a scheme that can upgrade the skills of children and anganwadi karyakartas. The Union Government can also launch a school complex under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan along with the state government to boost school education. The government should strengthen state universities by filling the large vacancies and improving the infrastructure.
M K Sridhar, member for NEP Draft Committee
Due to Covid-19,the entertainment industry has suffered a lot. With job cuts, no work for daily wage workers, and 50 per cent capacity at theatres, the situation is really tough.The government should reduce the GST on entertainment. Shwetha Srivatsav,actor
In earlier budgets, sports has never been the thrust point, so at least we are hoping this it is not the same this year. There is a 28 per cent GST on the price of sports tickets which is very high. When people watch sports it’s not luxury but passion. The government also has to check import taxes on sports equipment and look into getting better sporting infrastructure to improve the performance of our sportspersons.Vinay Mruthyunjaya, spokesperson, Karnataka State Cricket Association
The government’s swift and decisive actions and healthcare workers’ tireless efforts helped us survive the pandemic, but it revealed the shortcomings in our healthcare system and demonstrated the need for a massive refurbishment of our infrastructure. Public spending on healthcare needs to grow from the present 1.2 per cent to at least 2.5 per cent of GDP within the next three years, a significant portion of which should be spent on renovating our infrastructure. While tertiary and quaternary care receives a lot of coverage, preventive and promotional healthcare needs to be centred. This includes a critical examination of our framing of policy. Dilip Jose, MD and CEO, Manipal Hospitals