Indian industry stakeholders have hailed the Union Budget 2017-18, especially the measures announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for infrastructure push, affordable housing and expansion of the BharatNet project.
Here is what captains of the Indian Industry said:
Brotin Banerjee, MD & CEO, Tata Housing
Infrastructure status to affordable housing comes as a landmark announcement for the consumers and the real estate industry. Easy and dedicated access to institutional financing, higher limit on external commercial borrowings will attract more investments and assure sustained growth of affordable housing in India making it the core driving segment for real estate. On the other hand, long term financing at lower rates will reduce costs of construction for developers allowing them to pass on benefits to consumers. The new status will increase the resource allocation for the sector, catalysing housing supply and reducing the supply gap.
Anil Sardana, MD & CEO, Tata Power
…The government’s commitment to rural electrification and the announcement of an additional 20,000 MW of solar target is a welcome step that gives a much needed boost to the renewable sector. However, we believe that for renewable sector to achieve its potential strengthening the Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO) mechanism is essential and should be part of government’s larger vision for renewable energy… We are hopeful that our long pending demand that the electricity sector will be included in the GST regime will soon set into a roll-out stage.
Umesh Revankar, MD & CEO, Shriram Transport Finance Company Ltd
The Union Budget 2017 continues to rightly focus on rural development and infrastructure sector. The planned investment in these two critical areas will not only create jobs but also give impetus to demand generation and economic growth. Government has been working hard on National Highways development and today’s announcement of increased fund allocation for NHs will further improve the transport ecosystem of the country. The budget also provided much needed impetus to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by providing credit support. Overall it’s a well-rounded and progressive budget.
Kamal Nandi, Business Head & EVP, Godrej Appliances
We believe the recently announced budget will have a positive effect on the consumer appliances segment through increased demand for such products and push towards domestic manufacturing. Lower tax rates for individuals within 2.5 – 5 lakh income segment and rebate for others should give a fillip to consumer spending and demand for consumer appliances. Additionally, the government’s move to tweak customs and central excise duty structure to promote its flagship ‘Make in India’ scheme will benefit domestic manufacturers like us, thereby reducing reliance on import of such products.
Statement from Nilaya Varma, Partner and Head, Healthcare, KPMG (India)
Many of the targets set by the government for healthcare is very welcome and so is the focus on wellness, creating more clinical staff and leveraging existing assets. However, we need to see what is the real extra allocation for making these announcement happen… would have appreciated comment on plan for universal healthcare and infrastructure status.
Pirojshaw Sarkari, CEO, Mahindra Logistics
The recent budget has been extremely positive for logistics sector since it puts huge emphasis on infrastructure segments such as highways, railways, ports and aviation. Any expansion or enhancement of transportation infrastructure or even increase in consumption directly benefits the logistics sector.
Anshuman Magazine, Chairman, India and South East Asia CBRE
Overall, the Union Budget 2017 augurs well for real estate, affordable housing and the infrastructure segment. The affordable housing sector is finally set to get infrastructure status. This was a long-awaited announcement. Relaxation in area measurement as well as completion timelines to seek tax exemption are welcome steps. Further, the government has also increased allocation under the PMAY scheme. This will encourage home buyers and further boost participation from the Private players.
A P Hota, MD & CEO, NPCI
We are happy that the government is focusing on digital payments and considering our products to cater to our diversified population. We will support the mission of achieving 2,500 crore digital transactions for FY 2017-18 through UPI, USSD *99#, IMPS, Aadhaar Pay, RuPay Debit cards and other upcoming products of NPCI. By banks deploying more PoS terminals, introducing incentivizing schemes and creating use cases, we are confident that NPCI’s Mission to ‘Touch Every Indian by 2020’ will be achieved comfortably. NPCI will continue to innovate and introduce new payments mechanism to support the ecosystem.
Naveen Surya, MD, ItzCash & Chairman, Payments Council of India
We welcome various measures to promote digital economy announced in the new budget by our Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Measures like exemption of import duty on all types of PoS devices, additional 10 and 20 lakh POS terminals, No service charges on IRCTC bookings and incentivisation schemes on digital payments for merchants, along with ban on cash transactions above INR 3 Lacs will provide a huge boost to the country’s digital payment revolution. Also as per recommendation of the Dr. Ratan Watal Committee – creating a Payment Regulatory Board (PRB) within RBI is a great start.
Siddharth Chaturvedi, Director, AISECT
I hail the Government’s decision of opening 100 international skill centres. Work is already in progress to map India skills sector to international skills sector. For example, there is already equivalence in skills in India and the UK. These 100 international skills centres will go a long way towards providing skilled manpower for the international skills market. Most candidates who go overseas do so without a skills certificate. The launch of these centres will be a good step to make sure that all the labour going out of the country will be certified labour.