Budget 2019

Rebalancing for growth: Sanjiv Bajaj

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on February 29, 2016

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Budget 2016 reaction

This is a very balanced budget, considering that the Finance Minister had to simultaneously boost growth while maintaining fiscal discipline. I believe this gives an opportunity to the Reserve Bank of India, to announce a policy rate cut, feels Sanjiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Finserv.

A budget with a focus on agriculture, rural and social sectors coupled with tax rebates for the small tax payers in addition to the implementation of the Seventh pay commission is likely to provide a strong impetus to consumer spending. While there was an expectation of substantive reforms in the Infrastructure and financial sectors, it still remains a balanced budget with few negatives. The initiatives towards reduction in bottlenecks in the infrastructure sector should aid in growing infrastructure in the country.

The investment in rural, social and infrastructure sectors with specific incentives is expected to create jobs for millions of youngsters joining the workforce every year. The initiative in the area of education and skill development should enhance the employability of youth across the country.

The infusion of Rs 25,000 crore towards PSU bank capitalisation, while lower than general expectation, would force banks to improve operating efficiencies to deliver on increased credit growth while reducing their stressed asset portfolios. Some of the good reforms in the financial sector include resolution for bankruptcy and insolvencies, deepening of bond markets, reform of FDI policy in the areas of insurance, pension, ARCs and stock exchanges, willingness to divest below 50 per cent government shareholding in banks, listing of PSU General Insurance companies.

New initiatives on taxation include taxing high income assessees through tax on dividends, Securities Transactions tax on options and increased surcharge on individuals with income greater than Rs 1 crore per annum. However, the perceived fears of Capital gains tax were put to rest with no untoward levies on this front. The various measures to provide relief to small tax payers and with a focus to initiate pension plans and measures to provide affordable housing would assist the lower and middle class. Also, steps to reduce litigation and simplification of tax administration would go a long way in future compliance.

The continued focus on maintaining the fiscal deficit at 3.5% of GDP and giving consumers a higher wallet share towards spending should see India achieve its targeted GDP growth in excess of 7.5% in FY17, added Sanjiv Bajaj.

Published on February 29, 2016
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