Senior leadership comments on the Union Budget 2018-19
Feb 1st, 2018
Mr. Prashant Ruia, Director, Essar Group
I congratulate the FM for presenting a practical and progressive budget, covering all major economic and social segments of the country. There is a big impetus on agriculture, infrastructure and healthcare.
The FM has made a significant allocation towards developing smart cities, national highways, tunnels, railways, airports and inland waterways. This massive push in infrastructure, which is the backbone of any growing economy, will help boost economic growth and generate employment.
Three other critical announcements by the FM are noteworthy: One, a 25% tax rate for MSMEs, with a new threshold of Rs 250 crore, will encourage MSMEs , leading to job creation.
Second, the all-time high outlay in health, education and social protection is commendable.
Finally, the allocation towards digital innovation will help realise the PM’s Digital India vision.
Overall, it is a budget that will drive India towards economic and social prosperity!
Mr. Pradeep Mittal, Executive Vice Chairman, Essar Power Ltd.
We welcome the Government’s commitment to electrify every household under Prime Minister Saubhagya Yojana as well as the thrust on creation of livelihood and infrastructure in rural areas. Apart from addressing rural issues, the Government has also maintained fiscal prudence. Tax incentives to MSMEs through reduction in corporate tax rate to 25% would be healthy for this segment which was hit by the introduction of GST. A growth-focused budget and we hope that India’s GDP growth rate goes up to 8% and beyond in coming few years.
Rajiv Agarwal, MD & CEO, Essar Ports
The budget clearly displays that post demonetisation, GST implementation and bank recapitalisation, the economy will witness an 8% growth trajectory and buoyant tax collections. The stress is towards recharging the rural economy by shoring up infrastructure, ensuring livelihood, doubling farm income and increasing agri exports.
On the infra side, large spends are being done this year: Rs 14.3 lakh crore on rural infrastructure, Rs 14.8 lakh crore on the Railways, and Rs 5.9 lakh crore on overall infra spends. These investments will provide impetus to growth, demand and employment generation.
Mr. Ranjit Singh, Executive Director & CEO, Essar Shipping Ltd.
The Union Budget offers a major positive push for the infrastructure sector. I strongly believe that this budget will bring significant changes in the logistics sector with the government providing a big boost for developing road and rail network under the Bharatmala initiative. Increase in transport of goods via road, rail, sea and inland waterways is going to take place. With more than Rs 14 lakh crore announced for infrastructure sector, the entire economy will get a big leg-up for fast-paced growth. The Indian shipping sector is expected to benefit from various measures announced in the Budget, such as cluster development for farm and non-farm produce, mega food parks, reduction in corporate tax rates for MSMEs, etc.
Praveen Nagamalla, CEO, Indus Fresh
The Union Budget’s enhanced focus on strengthening the agriculture sector and building the rural economy was extremely encouraging.
The FM announced several initiatives that will give a fillip to the agri sector. These include plans to promote farmer welfare and the quality and yield of farm produce, setting up a long-term irrigation fund and creating a favorable tax structure for farmer-producer organisations.
Other heartening measures include enhanced budgets for cluster-based horticulture development & organic farming, doubling the funds for the food processing sector, setting up over 40 state-of-the-art Mega Food Parks, and Kissan Credit Cards.
I was hoping for some announcements related to promoting investments in FoodTech innovations, like applying IOT tools to enhance food safety and traceability, and taking sustainable farming to the next level.
However, this is a good budget for the agri sector and will certainly help in realising the FM’s goal of doubling farm income by 2022. I am sure Operation Green will be as successful as Operation Flood was for the dairy sector. Given that India is an agri-based economy, these initiatives will certainly strengthen the sector and contribute to the overall development of the nation.