Budget 2020

Interim Budget 2019: CEOs wish-list

BL Internet Desk | Updated on January 31, 2019 Published on January 30, 2019

Representative image

Expectations are for measures to drive consumption

The Budget session of Parliament kicks off on January 31, 2019.  On Wednesday, the Modi government clarified that interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal will present an Interim Budget, and not a full Budget.  In this backdrop, India’s corporate chieftains share their views and their expectations from the Interim Budget.

Abhijit Roy, MD and CEO, Berger Paints

Roy stated that the budget could bring relief to the middle class by rationalising the direct taxes. The reduction in taxes would result in higher disposable incomes leading to an increase in demand for paint product and services. He also felt that the budget would give a lot of importance on increasing rural household incomes resulting into a better demand coming from the rural economy.

Harshvardhan Neotia   -  Ambuja Neotia Group

 

Harshavardhan Neotia, Chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group

Neotia said, “I don’t expect major policy announcements.  There is an ongoing rationalisation happening with respect to GST rates.  Perhaps this is outside the ambit of the budget exercise because now there is an independent GST Council. But I expect this rationalisation to carry on”.

 

Dinesh Chhabra, CEO, Usha International

Chhabra said that he is optimistic about the upcoming interim budget. "The GST implementation has made India a unified market as far as taxation is concerned, and we hope to see a continued positive impact of GST in 2019 as well as a further rationalisation for products like sewing machines and small household appliances. Additionally, if adequate incentives are put in place for manufacturers to produce energy-efficient products, it will encourage this segment to grow at a faster pace. We are hopeful that the steps taken by the government, will spur revival in demand and consumption bringing cheer to both industry and consumers," he commented.

Manish Sharma, President and CEO, Panasonic India

Sharma stated that given the current economic conditions (increased customs duties, fluctuations in currency etc) he expects the budget to have revision in tax slabs for large appliances especially TVs. "That will help increase penetration and drive consumption. Secondly, the interim budget must aim at reducing 5% duty on open cells for LED Panels to encourage TV manufacturing in India. Furthermore, GoI must look at offering subsidies on domestically manufactured products, as it will help surge exports while offering tax benefits. We would also wish for a reduction in GST tax rates for energy efficient products especially Air Conditioners (4*, 5* Window AC and Split AC inverter models) and Refrigerators (Direct Cool and Frost Free) to 12% that will further help boost the demands while driving consumption,” he said.

 

Sangram Singh, CEO, Freecharge

The CEO of Freecharge said that 2018 was a great year for the fintech industry in terms of new technologies and innovation. "To strengthen this growth, we hope the budget can encourage the upgradation of digital infrastructure and digital literacy - especially in small towns and rural India, which will help drive financial inclusion through digitization. Some of the recent initiatives such as UPI 2.0 and tokenisation provide a good opportunity for banks, e-wallets, and other players in the fintech sphere to promote digital adoption," Singh commented.

 

KE Ranganathan, MD, Roca Bathroom Products Pvt Ltd

Ranganathan believes that the interim budget will provide more focus on sectors like rural development and infrastructure facilities such as roads and ports. "Talking about our industry, India is emerging as a sanitary ware manufacturing hub, with several domestic and overseas manufacturers setting up facilities across the country due to abundant availability of raw material and low labour cost. We are eager to see what exactly transforms at a stage where we have only few months in hand to attain a nation free from open defecation. Toilet penetration in India has gone up to 62 per cent from 40 per cent in the last 10 years.  We expect the Government to continue with positive policy announcements to improve the business environment and give a strong push to growth,” he explained.

Published on January 30, 2019
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