India Inc praises Union Budget 2021 as growth-oriented
New Delhi: Indian business fraternity on Monday praised FM Nirmala Sitharaman's budget that was presented at a time when the country is still fighting COVID-19 outbreak.
Padmaja Chunduru, MD & CEO of Indian Bank, said: "Stake sale by government in public sector companies and financial institutions, including 2 PSBs and one insurance company, in the next fiscal year is a welcome move."
"Another important highlight of the Budget is the announcement of FDI in insurance from 49% to 74% which will attract more foreign players and lead to increased investments in the sector. In the long run, this will help increase the penetration of insurance in the country," he said.
Reacting to the budget, Suvankar Sen, CEO, Senco Gold and Diamonds, said: “The duty reduction is a good initiative and a support by Govt to reduce unofficial smuggling . It will help the sector to be more organized . The responsibility of SEBI to manage bullion exchange implementation will help in making the gem and jewelry sector more organized . It is a good initiative by Govt to take care of consumers ,company , and manufacturing sector , karigars as well. ”
Reacting to the Budget proposals, EEPC India Chairman Mahesh Desai profusely thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for slashing customs duty uniformly to 7.5 per cent on key iron and steel items , along with customs duty exemption on steel scrap up to March, 2022.
''Our persistent pleas with the government for reining in rising iron and steel prices have been heard and reflected in the Union Budget. It is a great move for Aatmanirbhar Bharat and the MSMEs who had been hit hard for an unprecedented increase in the recent months. The revoking of Anti-dumping duty and CVD on certain steel products along with relief to the copper recyclers and reducing duty on copper scrap from 5 per cent to 2.5 per cent would make a significant difference to engineering exporters," Desai said.
Nilesh Shah, Group President & MD, Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company , said: "Growth oriented budget will support equity market. Asset Monetization, Strategic Divestment, Auto Scrapge policy are positive for market. Fixed income market will look forward to RBIs monetary policy as the gross borrowing program was little on the higher side. The budget has laid foundation for growth beyond FY 22 through selective protection to domestic industry and encouragement via PLI scheme."
Ravi Mehta Managing Director & Head - Transaction Tax from RBSA Advisors, said: “In a pandemic-plagued year shadowed by unprecedented crisis, the FM, through Budget 2021, has successfully carved a constructive recovery roadmap by laying emphasis on Capital spending. Unlike the traditionally-followed path of tinkering taxes for revenue mobilization, the Budget seeks to pursue a novel path of borrowings, privatization, monetization and disinvestment to shore-up the funding needs for this agenda."
"Initiatives like faceless dispute resolution, hike in tax audit exemption limit, rationalization of reassessment period and clarifications on dividend-related taxation and TDS aspects of INVIT will support in reducing litigation, promote investment and facilitate the even-green Government agenda of ‘ease of doing business’," he said.
Praising the budget, Prem Kishan Dass Gupta, Chairman & Managing Director, Gateway Distriparks Ltd, said: "“The Union Budget 2021-22 placed key focus on healthcare, infrastructure, digital economy and job creation for the youth. The announcement of massive investment of Rs. 2000 crore on seven port projects under PPP mode will boost the logistics sector and enable overall economic growth."
Aditya Narang, Co-founder & MD, SafeHouse Technologies, said: "We see this budget as a great step for India to become one of the largest economies. This is absolutely a pro-technology budget with a focus on Atma Nirbhar Digital India. Given the scenario today, we look forward to the government incentivizing AI and Data protection. We hope to see introduction of legislation and regulatory bodies by the government for timely interventions to make cyber security accessible not only to establishments but also for individuals."
Chocko Valliappa, Vice Chairman, Sona Group of education institutions, welcomed the budget and said: “Focus on Innovation and R&D, setting up of a Rs 50,000 crore National Research Foundation will fire up the research activity. I hope the share of allocation to private sector institutions doing worthy R&D grows from the current beyond a few IITs and research focused government institutions,” says Chocko Valliappa, Vice Chairman, Sona College of Technology that runs 36 R&D labs at its Salem campus."
On the proposals made in the budget about the education sector, he said: "The Union Finance Minister deserves compliments for focusing on internships for engineering graduates and diploma holders, extension of skill development initiatives along the lines of existing arrangements with Japan to other countries and allocation of funds to set up additional residential schools for SC/ST students as also providing for more scholarships”, says Chocko Valliappa, Vice Chairman, Sona Group of Education institutions."
"The education sector could have benefitted by an allocation higher than the Rs 93,224 provided for in the 2021-22 budget. Even though this is higher than revised budget estimates of Rs 85,089 crore, it falls short of what was budgeted in the 2019-20 budget by 6 per cent, adds Mr Valliappa," he said.
Sidharth Rath, MD & CEO, SBM Bank India, said, "Union Budget is what seems to be the best possible balancing act addressing the need for sustained fiscal support to foster faster recovery, growth and fiscal consolidation to the extent possible."
Vinaya Varma, MD and CEO, mjunction services, appreciated the budget and said: "Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Union Budget 2021 speech has put a lot of focus on monetisation of stressed and idle assets creating opportunities for electronic platforms for transparent price discovery processes."
"Stressed asset resolution by setting up an asset reconstruction company and asset management company, creation of a Special Purpose Vehicle to carry out monetisation of non-core assets including surplus land would contribute to the idea of AtmaNirbhar Bharat and help shore up essential revenues for economic revival. For the steel sector, voluntary vehicle scrapping policy to phase out old and unfit vehicles would increase availability of scraps," Varma said.
Sanjiv Puri, Chairman & Managing Director, ITC Limited described the budget as 'growth oriented'. "It is a visionary and growth-oriented budget that provides further impetus to build India’s competitiveness as also foster inclusive growth," Puri said.
"The enhanced capital expenditure, particularly on infrastructure, will create livelihoods and provide an accelerated thrust to the V-shaped recovery trajectory. The heightened spends on agriculture and rural infrastructure development are aligned to the comprehensive policy interventions aimed at creating competitive agri value chains to raise farm incomes," Puri said.
"These augur well for the economy and will spur a virtuous consumption-investment-employment cycle," Puri said.
Amid the pandemic and riding on the call for a self-reliant (Atmanirbhar) India, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented a budget with substantial focus on healthcare and vaccine, while exempting pensioners above 75 years from filing Income Tax, keeping the personal IT unchanged and announcing infrastructural funds for poll-bound states like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Kerala.
Delivering her budget amid Covid-19, the Finance Minister announced Rs. 35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccines this year.
She stressed that two more indigenous vaccines, apart from Covishield and Covaxin, will be available in the market to combat the contagion.
In another push for privatisation, Sitharaman on Monday announced a strategic disinvestment in two public sector banks other than IDBI Bank and one insurance company in the next fiscal year.
"Disinvestment target in FY 2021-2022 is 1.75 lakh crore," she said.
"Rs 20,000 cr for recapitalisation of govt banks," she added.
"All disinvestments of BPCL, CONCOR, Pawan Hans, Air India to be completed in FY 2021-2022," the FM said.