Industry leaders share their views and reactions on the Union Budget 2019.
Customs duty on import of gold may affect short term sentiments on gold buying: T S Kalyanaraman, Kalyan Jewellers
We are looking at this budget positively as the multiple reforms introduced clearly indicates that the Government is looking at laying the ground to fuel up the growth across sectors through relief offered to the consumers across sectors. Budget 2019 lays the foundation for a strong path towards India becoming a USD 5 trillion economy. The inter changeability of Aadhar and PAN card will help consumers tremendously when it comes to purchasing luxury items like jewellery.
With an investment of Rs.100 lakh crore proposed for infrastructure, we are expecting a bright future for the infra sector which in turn will benefit us as consumers will have more disposable income and the gems and jewellery industry presents itself as a lucrative investment option with profitable returns. Also, the assurance in the Budget to merge NRI and FPI (foreign portfolio investor) routes for investing in India to increase NRI funding will bring in fresh flow of capital in the economy which is a sign of good days to come.
However, the increase in customs duty on import of gold from 10% to 12.5% may affect short term sentiments on gold buying, and lead to an increase in the illegal supply of gold in the market. Overall, the reforms in the budget are mostly aligned towards strengthening Government’s schemes like Make in India, Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, Digital India and ease of doing business in the country.
We hail the government’s vision of a New India: CP Gurnani, Tech Mahindra,
We completely hail the government’s vision of a New India that will thrive on the confluence of new age digital technologies, quality education and apt skilling. We look forward to partnering with the industry and academia to nurture the start-up ecosystem, and to fuel a culture of research and innovation that will help travel the road to India becoming a five trillion dollar economy.
The budget augers well for the cement industry with focus on infrastructure: Aditya V Agarwal, Emami Group
It has been a good budget. The nation expected a balanced budget marrying both the social and economic priorities of the country and the budget FY19-20 has delivered to its expectations. Infrastructure, education and rural economy are the major beneficiaries from this budget, signaling more employment and spending power generating strong demand across business sectors including FMCG.
The budget also augers well for the cement industry with focus on infrastructure. Levy of custom duty of 10% on imported newsprint, uncoated and lightly coated paper will boost the domestic industry and create a level playing field.
Though very marginal, the levy of 7.5% duty on import of palm oil by-products will provide some respite to the domestic refining industry. However, the issue of reinstating the differential in duty between crude and refined oil import to 10% from the current 5 % has not been addressed in the budget. Further, the Government needs to review all the existing free trade agreements (FTAs) for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal in the edible oil sector.
The budget has also provided some boost to the real estate industry.
Union Budget has neglected the hospitality sector: Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, FHRAI
The industry expectations were high but the Union Budget has neglected us completely and we are disappointed yet again. While the Govt. wants to give impetus to hospitality and tourism and our Hon. PM has envisioned big things for the sector, there is no mention except for the 17 tourist-friendly spots which we welcome but will need further details before commenting on it until we know exactly what those spots are. We were expecting reforms in rate slabs of GST, Input Tax Credit and a definitive step to boost the domestic and inbound traffic. Hospitality plays a vital role in the growth of the economy; therefore, this sector cannot be ignored. It is one of the biggest contributors to GDP, Taxes, Foreign Exchange and most importantly in generating employment. As per industry reports, total contribution by travel and tourism sector to India’s GDP is expected to increase from Rs.15.24 trillion (US$ 234.03 billion) in 2017 to Rs.32.05 trillion (US$ 492.21 billion) in 2028. The success of Incredible India lies in managing its hospitality and tourism right and requires policy support. For the programme to be successful, it is paramount that the notion about the hospitality industry being “elitist” be dropped. Overall this is a good budget for the middle and lower class which will help strengthen their income base but there is nothing for the industry. We will look forward to working in tandem with the Finance and Tourism Ministries in boosting the influx of both domestic and foreign tourists.
We are pleased with the government’s thrust on improving infrastructure: Rajiv Bhalla, Barco India
We are pleased with the government’s thrust on improving infrastructure and technology as catalysts for the economy going ahead. For India to be on the path to being the 3rd largest economy by 2030, the budget’s rightfully emphasizes that robust improvements are required in social infrastructure and education. The plan to set up 20 technology incubators to push rural development opens the stage for new initiatives that will enable India to become a $5 trillion economy in the years ahead. Additionally, the budget has emphasized on 17 ‘iconic sites’ which will be transformed into world-class destinations to provide an impetus to the tourism sector. All these initiatives, I believe, will assist in reshaping and empowering the country and will help to drive and sustain long-term growth for India.
Budget outlines the blueprint of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2025: Mayur Toshniwal, Future Supply Chain
We welcome the Finance Minister’s budget that outlines the blueprint of making India a US$5-trillion economy by 2025. Proposals of increased infrastructure spending is critical for growth and is beneficial for India in the long run. The budget talked about massive push to all kinds of physical connectivity by taking forward programmes across various key sub-sectors such as roads, rail, inland waterways and air connectivity, which will positively impact the logistics sector.
Reduction of GST on electric vehicle and incentives will attract investment: Ayush Lohia, Lohia Auto Industries
It’s a welcome move that the Government has reduced GST on electric vehicle from 12% to 5% & also allocated Rs 10,000 crore for faster adoption of electric vehicles and has announced upfront incentives for electric vehicles. This will help attract investment for manufacturer and ensure clean energy over the time. This decision will represent the next generation in sustainable mobility & make them an attractive alternative to consumers. To give more boost to E-vehicle sector. We propose a more cautious, clear and realistic road map towards the adoption of EVs & hoping more positive step will be taken by government to cheer up the overall industry and consumer both.
Emphasis on quality education and improving the overall infrastructure will help the country become future-ready: Prashant Gupta, Sharda University
Allocation of Rs 400 crore for world-class higher education, ‘Study in India’, new national education policy, thrust towards R&D, skilling and new –age technologies are all steps in the right direction that will help, the government, industry and academia in establishing India as the next educational hub. Additionally, the emphasis on quality education, improving the overall infrastructure will help the country become future-ready with a deeper focus on research and new age skills such as robotics and AI.
Strengthening rural roads and national highways is a step worth applauding: Rajeev Kapur, Steelbird Helmets
The move of the Government to reduce corporate tax by 5% for companies having turn over upto 400cr was a long pending reform and I am sure this will create extra space for mid size companies to invest more into research, development & capacity creation. Besides, the focus area of E-vehicles will also help auto sector to transform rapidly and create a level playing field for new innovation in mobility.
In the budget, Government has shown it’s intent on two another key areas that is strengthening rural roads & national highways which is a step worth applauding as it will lead to the better conditions and better network of roads significanty reduce the fatal accidents, reduce the health care burden and improve the overall connectivity
Budget has clearly indicated government’s positive intent of pushing the e-mobility revolution in India: Nishchal Chaudhary, BattRE electric mobility
I think the budget has clearly indicated the positive intent of the government in pushing the e-mobility revolution in India. The question of when is not that important as the how. The ‘how’ is now getting addressed. Consumer adoption of this technology not only requires education and mindshift but also an attractive and feasible overall proposition. I think with the govt proposing lowering of GST and providing deduction of tax on interest on loans, outlay for infrastructure for battery charging stations, push towards make in India initiative is just the kick start measures required”.
We believe the water crisis issue has been addressed appropriately by the government: Prakash P. Chhabria, Finolex Industries
The Union Budget presented by the Finance Minister was growth-oriented will steer Indian economy into the much needed direction of robust advancement. GST, being the structural crux of the implemented reforms will help the organized sector to contribute in achieving the $5 trillion target for the economy. We believe the water crisis issue has been addressed appropriately by the government .It also aims at greater ease of living and access to clean drinking water on a priority basis.”Har Ghar Jal” by 2024 under Jal Jeevan Mission will prove to be a huge step towards the common goal of accessible clean drinking water and this will give us, a part of pipes industry, an impetus as far as demand is concerned.
Government’s continued thrust on affordable housing and proposal of 1.95 crores houses under PMAY (Rural) is also a step in right direction and will benefit us and my other company, Finolex Cables also. Similarly, the union finance minister’s promise of electricity for every rural household spells big business for Finolex Cables. We are hopeful that the proposed reforms will help boost the economy at a faster pace.”
Budget needed to lay more impetus on domestic medical equipment manufacturing: Suresh Vazirani, Transasia Bio Medical
In line with the Ayushman Bharat program, India has taken a number of initiatives towards equitable and affordable access of quality healthcare for 1.3 bn Indians. But it cannot be made affordable if India continues to import 70-80% of its total requirement of medical devices.
While the overall approach and budget allocation to address healthcare by the current government has been positive, unfortunately there is nothing much to boost Make in India.