The corporate sector has started giving its reactions to the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharamanon Tuesday. Here are some views as of now
Here’s how the corporate players reacted to the announcements made by the finance minister.
Ronojoy Dutta, Whole-Time Director and CEO, Indigo:
"Budget 2022-23 appears to be growth-oriented by an increase in the capital outlay of Rs 7.5 lakh crore, fiscal deficit capped at 6.4 per cent and efforts are being made to reduce compliance burdens and improve ease of doing business. We expect the Budget would enable India to achieve a growth estimate of 9.2 per cent."
Welcoming the new incentives of issuing e-passports and the introduction of digital currency, Dutta said the government's "relentless" focus on the national transportation infrastructure development with the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan will strengthen the much-needed multimodal connectivity.
Also, besides facilitating the seamless movement of cargo, the plan will reduce logistics costs as well, he added.
"Having said that, we were expecting tax concessions to the aviation industry in the forms of cut in ATF (aviation turbine fuel) excise duty and the allocation of concessional finance to airlines to help us come out of the pandemic," Dutta said.
C K Ranganathan, Southern Region Chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII):
"When we sustain this growth, and the push given to the sectors like infrastructure, agriculture, it will lead to the possibility of the country posting a double digit growth in GDP in the next two -three years", he told PTI. He also said the government has given the push to the industry and it would lead to a good growth in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the coming years.
Elaborating, he said as investments continue to come in and India has been on the 'high growth' path already, the government (in the budget) has given the right impetus which would lead to higher level of growth.
"We can grow beyond 10 per cent and we can achieve that record.. if we have a growth rate of mid-15 per cent we will be among top 3 (economies) globally ",he said.
Talking about some of the salient features of the budget, Ranganathan also the Chairman of fast moving consumer goods major CavinKare Ltd said, "it is a growth oriented budget and the infrastructure spending will drive growth...".
"The direct transfer of Rs 2.37 lakh crore to farmers is very reassuring and that the money is not going through some intermediaries.." he said.
Referring to the plan to provide tap water connections to 3.80 crore households with an allocation of Rs 60,000 crore in the budget, Ranganathan said it is another good sign if it is rightfully spent because water, food are all basic needs.
To a query about increasing the consumption among people, Ranganathan said, "consumption is already well. We have crossed the high growth rate levels of 2019.. overall tax collection has also improved".
Job losses were witnessed during 2019 due to COVID-19, but (2021-22) has now seen job creation, he said.
Anand Mahindra, Chairman & Team member, Mahindra Group:
The Mahindra and Mahindra chairman took to his official Twitter handle to praise the 62-year-old for her speech. "Brevity has always been a virtue. @nsitharaman‘s shortest budget address may prove to be the most impactful…" Mahindra tweeted.
SP Kochhar, Director General, Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI):
"We are glad to see the focus on the enhancement of digital connectivity and the announcement for the required spectrum auction in 2022 for the rollout of 5G mobile services," he said in a statement.
However, said it is "a bit disappointed" that the long standing demands remain unaddressed.
"We look forward to continued and constructive engagement with the government for reduction of levies on the telecom sector," Kochhar added. He termed the Budget 'pro-growth' with emphasis on providing further impetus to Digital India initiative.
Kochhar noted that the proposals for encouraging affordable broadband and mobile services through PLI scheme for 5G equipment, laying optical fiber cables through PPP (public-private partnerships) model under BharatNet project are all "welcome steps".
Nischal Shetty, CEO, WazirX:
“Clarity on income tax is a huge positive step for the crypto industry. This also removes any fear people had about the impending ban. We now know that the government is definitely inching towards regulations in this sector.”
Chandan Garg, Chairman & MD, Innovana Group:
“The extension of ECLGS scheme is a welcome move for MSMEs. The credit and fiscal support of 5 lakh crore will give a huge boost to this sector encouraging new businesses to come to the fore. This announcement will certainly generate more than 10 lakh of employment opportunities in a short span of time. However, a slight focus on easing the trade and the taxation policies for MSMEs facilitating more freedom to do business was also expected from this year’s budget announcement.”
Siddharth Maurya, Resource Specialist, Fund Management:
“The Budget session has taken some prudent initiatives for MSMEs and India Inc for start-ups. The tax concession period has been extended by one more year, which in my opinion is a very positive move. Likewise, a 15% tax has been decided for the newly incorporated manufacturing unit. The period of incorporation has been increased by one more year to 31-3-2024. This will further boost manufacturing activities.”
Gurjodhpal Singh, CEO, Tide (IN):
“The financial support for the digital payments ecosystem is a welcome move and further reaffirms the Government of India’s digital banking push. This push on digitisation will make way for more inclusion in the ecosystem. The focus on ‘Ease of doing business’ is a great step, as it will further promote entrepreneurship in the economy.”
Virendra Ranawat, Co-Founder, WoodenStreet:
“With Union Budget 2022-23, a lot of expectations have been met. Healthcare and infrastructure were the main highlights of the budget 2022 and immense investment has been allocated for the expansion of roadways and logistics networks. Just like it was expected, the youth and startups were given keen importance in the budget as well. The ECLGS credit scheme guarantee cover has been expanded by Rs 50,000 crore, which will provide collateral-free loans to stressed-out MSMEs.”
Sameer Aggarwal, CEO and Founder, RevFin:
“Introduction of ‘Digital Rupee’ using blockchain technology sends a strong message that India is at the forefront of technology adoption. A digital currency will bring in transparency to transactions and will enable accounting of all money, thereby reducing use of black money and cash based transactions. Issuance of the currency by RBI will result in a structured approach with controlled regulation. It is unclear at this stage if private digital currencies will be allowed to operate and compete with the rupee in India.”
Richard Pattle, CEO, True Beacon Global:
“As a foreign entrepreneur working in India and co-founder of one of the first funds in GIFT City – True Beacon Global – I am delighted with the focus of Narendra Modi’s government to develop the SEZ. This will further develop the ecosystem into a world-class fintech hub. Along with my co-founder, Nikhil Kamath, we are confident this announcement by the FM will further accelerate the international investor trust and attract further capital one of the fastest growing economies in the world.”
Satish Gidugu, CEO, Medi Assist Healthcare Services:
“Open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem is a welcome move to accelerate digital health push. The insurance industry, as the largest single consumer of the healthcare services, has the best understanding of access to healthcare and financing of costs.”
Ambarish Parekh, Senior Leader, Paycraft:
“Considering the challenges faced by the Indian economy in this pandemic, the Ministry of Finance has put up a fine balancing act. The Union Budget 2022 has various encouraging initiatives that will propel aspiring entrepreneurs and boost small businesses.”
D.R.E Reddy, CEO, CRCL LLP:
“The idea of the Kisan drone for crop assessment, digitization of land records, spraying of insecticides and nutrients will give inclusive development to farming. With this phase, India is to grow at 9.27%, the highest among all large economies. With a focus on contributing to the environment, chemical-free natural farming focusing on soil, biodiversity and human well-being is a welcome move. Overall major decisions taken are favouring in striking a balance between boosting rural demand and investing in infrastructure while continuing on the path of fiscal consolidation to maintain macro stability.”
Harish Prasad, Head Of Banking, India, FIS:
“The formal announcement of the Finance Minister on launch of India’s CBDC, the Digital Rupee, during 2022-23 is a much awaited and positive move. This will trigger a wave of preparatory activity amongst retail payments providers and apps to offer payment mechanisms using the Digital Rupee, along the lines as been seen in China with major Digital payments players and apps offering Digital Yuan payments via their apps.”
Umesh Mohanan, CEO, Indel Money:
"By extending the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for MSMEs by one more year, the Finance Minister has addressed the wider issue of credit flows to small businesses, which is critical for a faster pace in economic recovery and job creation. This along with the proposed introduction of digital currency by the RBI sooner than later will not only see the credit needs of MSMEs addressed on tap and on time going forward but also keep the asset quality of lenders to the sector intact despite the Omicron wave adding to the risks. This is a big positive for the business growth of MSME focused lenders like us."
Abheek Barua, Chief Economist, HDFC Bank:
"The 2022-23 budget finely balanced fiscal retreat with supporting economic recovery. The budget focussed on a familiar strategy of driving capital expenditure to drive growth, with the intention of crowding in private investment through higher public spending. Although markets could be disappointed with a higher fiscal deficit of 6.4% of GDP for FY23 than expected, it is perhaps prudent to not undertake aggressive fiscal consolidation at this nascent stage of recovery. While elevated market borrowings are likely to pressurise bond yields, inclusion of green bonds in the borrowing plan are an interesting innovation."
Alok Loyalka, CFO India and Director Tax, Fidelity International:
“The budget is growth-oriented with an impetus on capital expenditure to fuel economic growth and employment generation. Steps such as reducing surcharge on unlisted shared from 28.5% to 23% are likely to ease investor exits from start-ups. SEZ Act to be replaced with the new legislation is a much-needed announcement. This will help address new ways of working from home, introduce agility in SEZ activity and reduce the compliance burden.”
Atul Goel, MD, Goel Ganga Developments:
"In the backdrop of dropping Coronavirus cases, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman presented an enabling, positive and futuristic Union Budget 2022-23. The real estate sector has faced severe headwinds in the recent past but is hopeful of a solid recovery with several key budget announcements. With a focus on the construction of over 80 lakh affordable houses by the year 2023, focus on urban development via the concept of mega cities and enhanced focus on Tier 2 and Tier 3 cites will provide the much-needed impetus to the real estate sector."