Union budget 2017 – 15 Business Leaders & Experts Reacts Positively!

Union Budget 2017 announced last day seems like a huge success for Modi Government and received positively not only by the common man, but the business leaders and experts as well.

Following are more than 15 experts and their thoughts on budget 2017, and how it positively impacts different sectors!

“True to its expectations, Budget 2017 has spelt out roadmaps and allocations across various initiatives of the Central Government and the Finance Minister has done an excellent job of managing the expectations. Initiatives to Real Estate industry has been spoken at length where the sentiments have been largely positive.

  • The revisions to capital gains tax through reduction in holding period from 3 years to 2 years with a consequential revision of the base year to 1 April 2001
  • Payment of capital gains by landlord on Joint Development agreements in the year of completion is a welcome move. This will enable Real estate companies to pursue development without further infusion of capital in the acquisition.
  • Revision of Built-up area to Carpet area is a great move to push for apartments in affordable housing category.
  • The according of Infrastructure status to the Affordable Housing will boost investment in this category.
  • Extension of period for carrying forward the MAT Tax from the existing 10 years to now 15 years is a welcome move.

Furthermore, fiscal deficit for 2017-2018 has been estimated at 3.2% of the GDP which may lead to a lower borrowing programme, this is an excellent move and will go a long way to meet the country’s growth objectives. Largely, we were anticipating encouraging announcements for the industry and in the light of the upcoming RERA and GST implementation, we expect renewal of consumer confidence in the sector.”, said Ashish Puravankara, Managing Director, Puravankara Limited.

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“The Union Budget 2017 presented yesterday, announced a host of reforms and policies which are pro-growth, positively impacting consumers. The proposed deduction in income tax rate by 5% under the income band of 2.5-5 lakhs will help in strengthening the purchasing power of individuals and can also be seen as a step towards redistribution of wealth. The increased focus on infrastructure sector (with a record allocation of Rs 3.96 lakh crores) coupled with the reduction in the holding period for the long term capital gains for immobile assets from 3 years to 2 years, is likely to provide the much needed impetus to the real estate sector. With the reinforcement of the Finance minister on the roll out of GST per scheduled we are optimistic about the growth prospects of the industry.:”, said Mr.Gunjan Srivastava, MD &CEO of BSH Household Appliances.

“The budget 2017 is extremely positive and people friendly. Reduction in direct taxes for SMEs & low income individuals is definitely going to benefit the masses and will really impact the Indian economy in a huge way.  The GST is proposed to implement on July 1st, so indirect taxes such as, excise, customs, service tax  have not been touched. Manufacturing allocation is good initiative to start off. With such initiatives India can grow on the charts of GDP.

In the direction of making India a Digital nation a needful decision was made, with the focus rightly on digital India the budget also gave boost to telecom and manufacturing sector through Digital India. Modernization is good for any nation, for a successful and powerful nation fast growth can only be reached with the help of technology. Those portions of India that are deprived from the fruits of technology will now be able to enjoy it.

Government’s mission to connect 1,50,000 gram panchayats with hotspots and digitization will increase the use of technology and will create a friendly environment for digital payment system. No doubt Smartphone will play a crucial role in strengthening Indian economy. In today’s world technology and smartphones go hand in hand this step will lead to more demand of smartphones and will create the a wide spectrum for smartphones companies to compete for and to deliver.” said Mr. Sanjeev Bhatia, CEO of Zopo India and Managing Director of Adcom.

“The Union Budget has taken a well-balanced approach towards rural growth, infrastructural development and an evolving digital economy. The Government’s transformative move to enhance the ‘Skill India’ campaign with 100 skill centers and online training platform Swayam is a positive step.  The focus on quality education through a revised framework for educational institutions and employable skill development for the younger generation will encourage the IT /BPM sector to further deepen their presence in Tier II and Tier III cities. Given that there is a clear cost advantage to operating out of non-metro areas, we believe the focus on improving connectivity and infrastructure in rural areas through the BharatNet and Digital Village initiatives will help in creating balanced growth. Also, increasing the MAT credit carry forward period from 10 to 15 years will help companies in SEZs to utilize the same when moved into normal tax regime” Mr. Partha DeSarkar, CEO, HGS.

                    Mr. Rishi Bhatnagar, Aries

Overall a very positive budget. Reduction of corporate tax rates from 30% to 25% for MSME firms will definitely encourage investors and corporates. Some of the steps taken will definitely increase foreign direct investment and lead to employment generation which will be good for country”Dr. Rishi Bhatnagar, President, Aeris

Mr.Sudhir Kumar, CEO, itel Mobile India said, ” The Union Budget-2017 carries significant prospects for manufacturing brands. The FM has included provisions meant to boost electronic manufacturing by promoting MSIPS and EDF. Such policies would further receive funds worth 745 crores in FY18, hence, promoting indigenous manufacturers and attracting innovation and technology prowess engineered by foreign countries. And while the manufacturing sector celebrates policy changes, we further appreciate the streamlined delivery of these products, via the GST bill. These announcements are further in sync with the overall emphasis on transitioning India into a digital economy, empowered with fast internet access, cyber-security and access to smartphones. It is heartening to see the union budget for FY18 support the right to progress by shifting the focus back on to rural economy and agriculture; which truly resonates with our brand proposition. The provisions put forth in the budget are going to improve the buying capacity, digital lifestyles and affluence of the rural India and we at itel, welcome these changes and look forward to the promising year ahead.”

“Several measures introduced in the 2017 Union Budget are an important step towards building India into an important digital economy. This budget has made special provisions to ensure greater financial growth, with emphasis on enhancing cybersecurity in finance, and bringing greater coordination and transparency between departments. The Computer Emergency Response Scheme is a great initiative which will smoothen coordination between finance regulators. The push to drive adoption of mobile and an Aadhaar-enabled payment system will help bring in greater financial inclusion amongst citizens.

Additionally, IT exemption for start-ups will help reduce income tax for smaller companies with a turnover less than INR 50 crore, which we believe will significantly improve the ease of doing business for smaller businesses and start-ups in India. There has also been a revision in personal income tax rates which will boost consumption to some extent.

The new budget has also made provisions to raise India’s innovation quotient, through the setting up of an innovation fund to encourage and fuel innovation amongst youth. The budget’s focus on making education more accessible to educationally backward blocks, along with the steps taken to ramp up the Skill India Mission will also help in maximizing the potential and capabilities of youth in the country.” , – Rostow Ravanan, CEO and MD, Mindtree

                                                                              Mr. Manish Sharma, Panasonic India

Mr. Manish Sharma, President & CEO, Panasonic India & South Asia, and Executive Officer, Panasonic Corporation said, The Union Budget 2017 will have a long term impact, it needs to be analyzed further when it comes to the appliances and consumer electronics industry. This budget, a lot of impetus has gone to rural economy and allocation on infrastructure by the honorable finance minister. From a consumer electronic company point of view we were expecting direction on the upliftment in supply chain and logistics in India. The budget allocated towards MSIPs and EPF looks progressive and will surely reduce dependency on imports in the industry.

We look forward to the next draft of GST to come forward, however the government’s move on imposing a 2% special additional duty on populated printed circuit boards (PCB) used for mobile phones imported into the country, will provide adequate protection to the domestic industry and give the necessary impetus to Make-in-India under the GST regime.”

Mr. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder & CEO – Paytm said, “It is a digital economy budget. Government has pushed the digital theme in every area of the budget. Every person from a small shops to consumers are pushed towards the digital economy. Tax benefits, incentives to use digital payments and extending loans based on a digital footprint will create a larger merchant ecosystem for digital payments. Incentives for labour intensive sectors including housing,  farming and dairy will help SMEs to create new jobs. Focus and attention to bank NPAs, as well as increasing bank capitalisation is great step towards strengthening the financial system of the country. Finally, the income tax rate changes will encourage more people to report their incomes and create a larger tax net for the country. Overall, it is a great budget that will encourage people to move to the formal economy and derive benefits.
 
Ms. Ambika Sharma- Founder & MD, Pulp Strategy Communications said, “The latest budgetannouncement holds great promise. I am particularly enthused by the hike in capital allocation for women skill development initiatives to INR 1.84 lakh crore for the 2017-18 fiscal. This move will empower women across the country and help them in becoming active contributors in the country’s growth. The allocation of INR 10,000 crore for the BharatNet project is also promising, as it will bring high-speed internet connectivity to rural citizens in nearly 150,000 gram panchayats through Wi-Fi hotspots. With nearly 70% of the country’s population living in rural and semi-urban geographies, the move will give the vision of a ‘Digital India’ a big boost.
On the business side, the reduction of corporate tax for MSMEs with annual turnover up to INR 50 crore to 25% is a very welcome move which is expected to benefit nearly 96% businesses in the industry. Given that corporate tax is one of the major expenses for the country’s MSMEs, the cut in tax rates will promote greater growth within the sector and will allow Indian businesses to become more competitive globally. Increasing the period for profit-linked deductions to three years out of seven years as against five years is also extremely positive news for the country’s entrepreneurial landscape. Since start-ups often do not generate any profits for the first few years of their operations, increasing the consideration period to seven years will benefit more start-ups and promote entrepreneurship across the country. The setting up of Payment Regulatory Board by RBI to replace BPSS (Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems) as the regulator of electronic payments is also a promising development in the quest to become a less-cash and digital-first economy.”
 
Mr. Abhesh Verma, COO nexGTV, said, “I welcome the budget and appreciate the clear commitment shown by the Government towards fueling the growth of digital adaptation by focusing on underlying infrastructure. This is reflected in the availability of more spectrums and 10k crore worth of budgetallocation for fiber optic laying beyond the already laid 155000 km. The availability of bandwidth will help Indians adapt to the digital lifestyle and thus, will help in the growth of the entire ecosystem. Additionally, the rebate in tax for people, especially the ones at the bottom of the pyramid will increase their in-hand disposable income a part which will also be spent on mobility, data, and entertainment, further working for the benefit of the OTT players.”
Mr. Manavjeet Singh, Founder& CEO, Rubique, said, “We appreciate the announcements made under the Union Budget 2017. We feel the budget is well rounded, covering important cores of the Indian economy, including SMEs, Rural India, Digitalization and the common, middle class citizens of India.
The budget does include certain good news for the startups. The increased period for profit linked deduction for three years out of 7 years as against five years is welcome, as start-ups are not expected to make profits for the first few years. The need was for a 10-year period, but extension to 7 years is nevertheless welcome. The exemption from MAT has however, not been allowed, and an enhanced carry over period will not really help start ups from a cash flow perspective.
Furthermore, the housing and personal finance sector has received a major boost from the announcements by the Financial Minister. The move to shift housing into infrastructure is going to enable debt and equity financing, further bringing down the costs and inspiring users to opt for the same. Besides, the income tax reductions for common people is further going to increase the buying potential or take loans for various purposes.
National housing bank will refinance loans worth Rs 20,000 cr. This is expected to increase Balance transfers especially in affordable housing segment due to strong focus on PMAY. This will also give in impetus to housing sector overall.
Double lending target of banks to Rs 2.44 lakh crore. This is primarily to bridge the existing lending gap & we see more capital available for customers specially for MSMEs.”

Nihal Kothari – Executive Director ( Indirect Tax Expert)

                     Nihal Kothari, Tax Expert

“The FM in his speech has shown government’s determination to introduce the GST at the earliest in 2017 and therefore, no major changes have been propose in the existing indirect taxes. However, inverted rate structures in customs and excise duties has been eliminated.

As a boost to digitisation of economy, government has announced exemption from excise and customs duty on manufacture or import of equipments used in such processes. Paradigm shift in the tax administration and make them accountable. The extent to which the above objective will be met is yet to be seen on the implementation of the budget proposal.

In view of hardening of crisis of petroleum the customs duty on LNG is reduced from 5% to 2.5%.”

Interestingly Budget 2017 kept the agenda surrounded by themes of transformation, energisation and clean from corruption. As expected, only broad announcement with respect to the GST has been made by the Finance Minister in the Budget Speech today. July 1 has been reiterated as the date for the landmark reform and certainly there is not much scope for extension now. While the roadmap looks clear, the announcement with respect to the draft codes would have provided greater certainty to industry.

The Service tax has not been changed but plethora of changes to abatements and exemptions are expected. This is justified as the transition to the GST is evident. The key exemptions which have been trimmed down need to be looked closely.

Due to the global economy slowdown, there were fears of various goods been dumped into India and accordingly the customs duty was expected to be increased on several goods. Further, with an objective to boost the manufacturing, excise duty concessions were expected. However, changes to the indirect tax rates have been kept minimal.

While the budget was based on lot of data analysis and an element of wit, it was on an overall an average one.” – Abhishek A Rastogi, Partner, Khaitan & Co.

“After launching a war against black money, it is time for another disruption on the indirect tax front in form of the tectonic GST reform. In his Budget speech, the Finance Minister made it amply clear that in light of the upcoming GST implementation, no major changes in the indirect tax structures were made. In addition, the FM ensured that digitalization of the economy was on its way by providing substantial boost to the digital infrastructure devices by providing exemptions from indirect tax.   

As against common beliefs, there was no increase in the indirect tax rates which came as a surprise. This indicate that there is still no clarity on the rates even at the Government’s end. The industry should now gear up for a complete shift in their systems to be in line with the upcoming reform.”  – Rashmi Deshpande, Associate Partner

“In the budget, FM announced that the FIPB may be abolished. Since in the defence sector any FDI beyond 49% requires government approval, it appears that either this sector will be further liberalised by allowing 100% FDI in the automatic route or the nodal ministry (ie MOD) will process and decide any application for approval of an FDI in excess of 49%. We need to wait for the roadmap ahead.” – Atul Pandey, Associate Partner

 

Amol Wagh

Author of Game Marketing Book: Market Your Indie Game Like A Pro! 7 years of Tech Blogging & Digital Marketing. Co-founder at Dotline Inc & a Gamer. Follow me on Twitter @amolwagh, @amol.wagh