What Industry Leaders are Saying About the Upcoming Budget 2020

Budget 2020 Expectations from Modi’s Government

All eyes are trained at the upcoming Budget and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is geared up to present the Union Budget 2020 in the Lok Sabha tomorrow. She has a lot on her platter to focus on. This Budget will be interesting from the point of how the government comes up with measures to control the ongoing economic meltdown. Recently, the Modi government has come under a lot of backlash for the slow rate of economic growth, unemployment and an increase in the inflation rate. Considering that the government is well focussing to revive the sluggish growth of India’s economy, here are some experts from different industries and their budget expectations. (Company names are in alphabetical order)

Budget 2020 Expectations from Industry Leaders:

Company Name

Name and Designation

Expectations

ASA & Associates Parveen Kumar, National Head

I expect the Finance Minister to keep in mind the real economic scenario. While steps to encourage investment like abolishing long term capital gain tax may help, banking, infra and auto sector need special attention. Hope that tax proposal will be further improved in the direction of long-term policies. It’s time for careful serious action and not just the politics.

Affle (India) Ltd Mr Anuj Khanna Sohum, Founder, Chairman & CEO

We believe that Budget 2020-21 will place a greater focus on digital literacy to increase the penetration of smartphones/internet in smaller towns and rural areas.

We hope that the Budget includes a stimulus policy to incentivise greater investments in local research, development and in areas such as education or health technologies with greater adoption of artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing and blockchain to accelerate the Government’s vision of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025.

AxisRooms Mr Anil Kumar Prasanna, CEO

We have seen some promising steps for startups by the recent government starting with the removal of Angel Tax, MSME Loans of 1 Crore and Mudra loans, the key problems persisting the policies are execution. Especially most of the time MSME site for loan approval is always down as even with approval some startups have had problems to secure this loan. Every year we see allocation of a large amount of money for startups, from the last allocation of 10,000 crores, we had only seen 30% allocated or deployed funds that is too less compared to the allotted funds and there is still no accountability if this money has actually gone to the startups or is with fund management companies like SIDBI. We need a more informative website and team to manage like Enterprises in Singapore for all startup related initiatives and assistance.

Azah Shashwat Diesh and Aqib Mohammed, Co-Founder

We hope the government makes changes in the current GST policy for businesses selling Nil GST products and help balance the input-output tax to ensure more competitive prices for the Indian consumers and implement sustainable policies that help increase liquidity in households thereby increasing the consumption in our country in the near future. Also, health, hygiene, and sanitation are some of the major concerns in India. It is the need of the hour. The Government should recognize menstrual hygiene products as a necessity for the betterment of society and realize its significance in socio-economic growth. Although sanitary products are tax-free in India, the cost of running a business has gone up for businesses that primarily sell only GST free products (products with Nil GST).

Cosmo Films Ltd Mr Neeraj Jain, CFO

We expect that the government would bring in more business-friendly policies and take steps to reduce regulatory compliances, thereby creating a holistic environment for ease of doing business. Removal of MAT from SEZ and simplification of domestic sales from SEZ will give the required boost to the manufacturing industry.

Last but not the least, removal of capital gain from equity transactions will facilitate overall market capitalization of the stock market.

Continua Kids Himani Narula Khanna (Co-Founder & Director)  and Pooja Grover Kapoor (Co-Founder & Director)

India’s healthcare has been unique in a way that private sector contributes equally to or more than the government sector whereby the people working in the private sector, especially those who are startups look forward to the government not only for directions but also help. It is not an easy task for any startup to show a turnaround more so in a brick and mortar model prevalent in healthcare. We are quite optimistic that this government has already given a lot of focus on the startup ecosystem and with every passing year it’s going to increase. It’s easy to start-up and to lose also if not provided with adequate support from everyone around especially from the government. There are hardly few people in healthcare who are trying to revolutionise and who don’t have deep pockets otherwise providing world-class healthcare to the needy is not an easy task.

Cianna Capital Mr Upmanyu Misra, Co-founder & CEO

The NDA government has achieved a decisive mandate that will not be tested for at least 2-3 years. Therefore, I hope they focus on fixing infrastructural issues in the economy rather than falling in the trap of synthetically aiming for 6% growth.

Inflation and interest rates are in a manageable range. The budget should be geared towards fixing jobs which will be the key for long term growth. For that, we need a positive mood within Corporates. But Corporates need help with their balance sheet. This help can be provided via a two-pronged strategy – make foreign equity route palatable for all stakeholders and provide tax exemptions in a meaningful manner.

On the tactical side, we should spend money to modernize the RBI and templatize investment processes. We need to attract foreign debt as developed equity markets are getting too hot and 2020 may see rising interest in India private debt. Masala bonds are not easy for small to mid-sized transactions.

GRK & Co, Chartered Accountants Ajay Khanna, Partner

Firstly, as widely sought by everyone, the income tax exemption amount should be raised to Rs 5 lacs for everyone. As of today, indirect assesses getting taxable income less than Rs 5 lacs have all the income exempt from tax but persons having taxable income of more than Rs 5 lacs, the basic exemption limit continues to be Rs 2.50 lacs only. A lot of confusion due to this for a common man. Secondly, the surcharge against various income slabs should be reduced. Today, we have moved to the old era and the highest income slab has become 42.7% which is not at all desirable. This is and will be discouraging investments in India. Thirdly, for senior citizens, the exemption on account of interest earned under section 80CCB should be raised from the present ceiling of Rs 50,000 to 2,50,000. Senior citizens do not tend to invest in stocks and their main income sources are fixed deposits. Even with the present interest rate of around 7% and inflation at around 5%, the present exemption is not at all justified. Further, the ceiling for investment under senior citizens scheme should be raised to Rs 50 lacs from the present limit of Rs 15 lacs as bank interest has gone down drastically.

Hubbler Mr Vinay Agrawal

Startups like us have a huge expectation from the upcoming budget to make India the preferred hub for this sector.

Some expectations that we want are to consider Unlisted securities treated at par with listed securities when taxed for long- term gains. GST has already become one of the biggest economic reforms that our country has witnessed. To make it more successful, there needs to be a simplification in the filing process for companies. GST is now accountant-friendly, it needs to become business-friendly as well. Also, startups with less than 25 cr turnover should get automatic exemptions from TDS. We spend money faster to grow faster. But because of TDS, our precious funds get stuck, costing us dearly in terms of working capital and interest.

IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd Mr Dinesh Agarwal, MD

We expect the Government to deliver a Budget which is focused on the revival of the economy by boosting consumption, encouraging investment and creating a stronger domestic manufacturing sector. Considering the present scenario, the MSME sector is held to be one of the major players in helping India become a 5-trillion-dollar economy by 2024. Therefore, steps like rationalization of GST slabs, streamlining the GST filing process and incentivising the financial sector to provide easy credit to the MSME sector should be taken up on priority.

Jaipuria Institute of Management Dr Puneet Dublish, Associate Professor

This budget is very significant as it is coming at a time when all the leading economic indicators like GDP growth, private consumption, investments, manufacturing and agriculture recording lowest/slowest growth in a decade or so. Hence, my views or expectations are that the FM should give priority to infrastructure spending, better market access to farmers for their crop, creation of a separate fund for the completion of stalled realty projects, increase the 30% tax slab limit from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. All these measures will disturb the fiscal discipline but will give a boost to private consumption leading to demand growth and higher GDP.

Kohinoor Jewellers Agra Mr Milind Mathur, Creative Director & Partner

Reduction on increased duty on imports of cut and polished diamonds. Reduction on import duty of gold as it has a major cascading effect as it makes the grey market stronger and legitimate businesses suffer as they cannot compete but the biggest hit is the increase of customs duty on cut and the polished coloured gemstone to 7.5 per cent from 5 per cent. With these duties, it becomes difficult to compete in the world market and export as China is a major competitor.

Maps Of India Eish Taneja, CFO

This budget has lots of hopes for everyone. Most of the businesses are not doing well. The opposition also is becoming stronger in asking questions relating to the economy. Jobs creation is the number one priority for Govt. That’s a big pain area post-GST and demonetization. Infrastructure is not up to the mark. It needs a big thrust. Investments are not coming. A lot of fear exists in banks also regarding NPA and fresh credit disbursements that needs to be resolved. Investments especially from venture funds and other avenues need to be thought through. The Taxation needs to be relooked again.

Noida Metro Rajan Prakash, Dy. GM Finance

Some measures should be taken to fill the gap of unparalleled income gap among the citizens.

Some measures should be taken by govt to gain entrepreneur confidence especially the SMEs.

Govt. undertakings and PSUs who are running into profits should not be brought into disinvestment scheme. That is going to create a monopoly or big giants in the market.

Newgen Software Mr Diwakar Nigam, Chairman & MD

The Indian IT sector provides significant opportunities for growth. The government can further incentivize organizations creating software intellectual property through tax exemption on IT exports. We expect that the Government would bring in more business-friendly policies and take steps to reduce regulatory compliance, thereby creating a holistic environment for the ease of doing business.

Organ India & CEO- River Rock Ventures Ms Anika Parashar, Chairperson/Founder

The primary focus of the Union Budget is to promote inclusive growth in the country; however, women wellness – especially menstrual hygiene – is an area that needs to be emphasized.

To go green in the future, the government should ensure the use of biodegradable menstrual products over non-biodegradable ones. This one initiative could bring down the number of disposable sanitary napkins adding to the landfills, which currently stands at 12.3 billion annually. The government could support start-ups who are endeavouring to offer biodegradable products at affordable prices, keeping in mind the current condition of the environment.

Although the sanitary napkins are tax-free, the expenditure incurred in their production is still taxable. Decreasing import duty for raw materials could help such start-ups to stretch themselves in the market, meeting the public demand.

The government should also take measures on educating and teaching women the importance of hygiene during periods, pregnancy, menopause, post-Partum depression, PCOD, mental health issues and other general health-related issues.

Sapient Ashish Khanduja, Senior Director

In my view, Taxation needs to be really looked upon again for salary class who struggles and works really hard and pays more than 30% of tax along with GST and other Indirect taxes also. The Govt. really needs to look upon the Taxation and make it more consumption-oriented meaning higher indirect and lower direct taxes.

SP Chopra and Company Samir Nath, Director Resolution and Restructuring Assurance Services

The economy needs a boost from the demand side. Demand comes from consumers and promoters. Consumers will buy more if personal tax rates are reduced drastically. Similarly, promoters and bankers need to be incentivized with seamless GST, easy credit based on cash flows, cheaper real estate prices, transparent credit appraisal after factoring reasonable risk.

Trivitron Healthcare Dr. GSK Velu, Chairman & Managing Director

The government should focus on creating the healthcare infrastructure and invest extensively in upgrading primary and secondary healthcare services in tier I-II cities in the country. This can leverage the indigenous medical technologies developed specifically for Indian healthcare needs, and thereby support the Make in India initiative.

The budgetary allocation should be enhanced on the primary health and on establishing the health and wellness centres (announced under Ayushman Bharat) which will help to reduce the disease burden. The government should provide support to local manufacturing units in terms of preferred interest rates and priority sector lending and the focus should be on rationalising the GST rates for the health sector. Also, the medical devices manufactured in India should be given preference in government purchases.

YourNest Venture Capital

Sunil K. Goyal, Managing Director

The prioritise job creation, would request the Hon’ble Finance Minister to focus on the country’s burgeoning startup sector. To start with, removing the surcharge on the so-called ‘Super Rich’ for unlisted shares and making them at par with listed shareholders. In order to channelise the domestic and foreign risk capital for startups, there is a need for complete tax-parity on Capital Gains for investments in listed and unlisted securities. Investing in startups is riskier and capital is locked for a considerably longer period than the investment in listed shares, still, the taxation is much higher.

The largest pool of domestic capital is available with pension funds, provident funds, and the charitable institutions. This pool in yesteryears was creating jobs by investing in the public sector, whereas today’s job-creators are venture capital and private equity funds. We propose these domestic pools can participate in the building of the nation as a mega step forward. We are the world’s third-largest startup nation and the innate spirit of entrepreneurship that exists in the DNA of young Indians is manifesting itself more and more. These startups do not make profits in their initial years of business and; in fact, over the years, they accumulate losses. In the initial years, cash is key to their survival, a huge amount of money is blocked due to TDS. Startups should be allowed lower TDS certificates on a self-certification basis. If the Finance Minister can remove some of these hurdles from the paths of our startup founders, they and their investors, as well as the common man, gain immensely. A win-win for everyone including the government.

 

Related Link:

India’s Top Expectations from Budget 2020 in Hard Times

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Budget 2020 Expectations | What Industry Leaders are Saying About the Upcoming Budget
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Budget 2020 Expectations | What Industry Leaders are Saying About the Upcoming Budget
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Budget 2020 will be presented by Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, on the 1st of February 2020. In this article, we bring you some of the Budget 2020 expectations from some of the industry leaders.
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