Budget 2021

How India Inc reacted to Budget 2020

Our Bureau | Updated on February 02, 2020

Hemant Kanoria, Chairman, SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd :

The present glaring issue for the economy has been to infuse funds for demand pick-up, for the agriculture sector, for NBFCs and for infrastructure spend, so as to enable the nation to be back on the growth track. The Finance Minister has endeavored to address most of the issues with a medium to long term vision. The biggest takeaway is allowing Sovereign Wealth Funds 100 per cent tax exemption for investments in Indian infrastructure projects. The other important announcement was the increase in the FPI limit for corporate bonds from 9 per cent to 15 per cent.

This, coupled with the laying out of red carpet for the SWFs at this juncture, is very good news for Indian infrastructure projects as it will enable long term funds, both equity and debt, to be invested in India. The global financial markets are flushed with abundant funds.

The decision on Dividend Distribution Tax, which has been on expected lines, is likely to make investments in India more profitable.

On the resource mobilisation front, the decisions to offload a part of government's stake in LIC and to sell off the entire government stake in IDBI Bank were noteworthy. It was reassuring to hear from the FM that the proceeds from such disinvestment will be mostly used for capital expenditure.

NH Bhansali, CEO – Finance, Strategy & Business Development and CFO, Emami Limited :

Expectation from the Union Budget were not very high, since some important steps have already been taken by the Government which include reduction in Corporate Tax, prior to the budget.The focus is on stimulating growth rather than fiscal discipline.

Withdrawal of DDT (dividend distribution tax) and relaxation of FPI norms are welcome steps to boost investor confidence. This should also result into building consumer confidence gradually over a period of time.

Vivek Karve, CFO, Marico Limited :

The Union Budget has laid out an elaborate plan to steer India towards realizing its 5 trillion dollar economy dream. The Finance Minister seems to be determined in simplifying the tax regime by removing exemptions. Reduced personal taxes auger well for consumer goods companies as more disposable income will help drive consumption of branded goods. The thrust on agriculture, irrigation and rural development should fuel growth in a struggling rural economy. Effective implementation of schemes holds the trump card.

Varun Berry, MD, Britannia Industries :

The Budget attempts to activate multiple levers like rural, infrastructure, entrepreneurship and financial sectors to stimulate growth. It remains to be seen which of these will fire and to what extent. We are optimistic about the government's rural agenda and hope that it buoys consumer demand for the FMCG sector.

Harshavardhan Neotia, Chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group :

With limited fiscal headroom available to the Finance Minister, the Budget presented has tried to address many of the issues confronting the economy. There has been an effort to rationalize personal income-tax, with the hope that it would push consumption.

Announcement of significant investments in Infrastructure and in Agriculture sector, which in turn had led to relaxing fiscal deficit target, is welcome. This is expected to provide the much needed investment push to catalyse the economy.

I was particularly pleased to see many references in the budget speech giving due importance to the role of entrepreneurs and wealth creators. This will go a long way towards bridging the perceived trust deficit between the tax authorities, the government and the business community.

Incentives and initiatives to encourage affordable housing will certainly help in pushing economic development in general.

Sushil Mohta, Chairman, Merlin Group and President, CREDAI, West Bengal

We are happy that the Tax Holiday for real estate developers has been extended by one year. Affordable housing continues to be the focus of the government and the extension of Rs 1,50,000 tax benefit on interest paid on affordable housing loans bears testimony to that. However there was no announcement on rental stock of properties. In developing countries like India, it is important to encourage Rental stock of properties. The rental income earned by individuals as well as institutions is taxable. We at CREDAI had recommended 100 per cent of the rental income – of up to Rs 20,00,000 per annum – be exempt from the payment of income tax . In India 2 per cent of the rural population is migrating to the cities every year. The new migrants cannot afford housing of their own and end up in slums. The scheme will promote rental housing for new settlers and limit slums.

Published on February 02, 2020

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