Despite economic slowdown and key sectors not showing any sign of immediate recovery, there is huge expectation of India Inc from the Union Budget 2020 to help them navigate the sluggish period of growth.
According to Tech Mahindra CEO CP Gurnani, realising the dream of India becoming a 5 Trillion Dollar economy by 2025 truly outlines the ‘art of possible’ and depends largely on the choices country make.
For him, digital continues to be the cornerstone of India’s strategy, therefore, sharpening focus on enhancing skills in new age technologies like 5G, improving the quality of education, and nurturing the startup ecosystem are some key measures that will accelerate India’s IT exports and will help sustain its global competitiveness.
“As part of the Union Budget 2020, we hope to see focused initiatives by the government that will help India fortify its digital growth momentum and contribute to the global growth story. With 1.3 billion consumers and a large talent base including over 400 million millennials, India can play a key role in scripting a unique success story amidst the global economic slowdown,” said Gurnani.
Despite government dismissive view of state of economy, business leaders see drop in GDP, liquidity crunch, rising inflation and low tax revenue as a struggling sign. “Indian economy is dealing with several issues including a drop in GDP, liquidity crunch, rising inflation and low tax revenue. While the Centre took multiple measures to boost the slowing economy, some of which have borne fruit, we believe that more steps are needed, especially in promoting growth in rural consumption and labour-intensive segments,” said Barco India managing director Rajiv Bhalla.
His company remains positive on the India growth opportunity and look forward to favourable measures from the Centre, predominantly in the technology-enabled sectors and the domains it cater to – medical imaging, smart cities, technological innovation in tourism, among others.
Like technology, the other key sectors such as education, real state, banking, startups, telecom and auto are expecting relief and policy measures that can drive growth. For example, the real estate segment, especially the residential sector, saw some growth in 2019 primarily due to the government’s strong push at improving liquidity and growth.
Going forward the real estate industry leaders look forward to more such measures to boost the segment as it still needs various enablers to get out of the rut. “We are hoping the Union Budget will announce a one-time roll over or restructuring of existing loans. We are also looking forward to the Centre’s measures aimed at improving liquidity and lowering home loan rates, taxes and stamp duties as these will ensure buying interest from end consumers,” said Chintels India managing director Prashant Solomon, who is also treasurer for CREDAI NCR.
According to Clicbrics CEO Rohit Malik, policy changes like RERA and Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act 2016 have ensured transparency and streamlining the sector but he would like to see concrete measures around liquidity and alternate investment fund to revive consumer and investor sentiment.
“We expect the government to focus on lowering of taxes, home loan rates and reduction in stamp duties which will have a positive impact on the sector,” said Malik.
According to World University of Design Vice Chancellor Sanjay Gupta, Union Budget 2020 must focus on quality and tax- free education and skill development. He said, “If we look at the current scenario, there has been a shift in the nature of jobs and career choices amongst the youth. The budget must incorporate necessary policy revisions required to meet future job demands and to make India as one of the leading higher education destinations in the world.”
CA Maneet Pal, partner of I.P. Pasricha & Co said that government might bring tax dispute settlement scheme to recover pending disputed demands. He added, “With GDP at lowest rate in 11 years, Industry expects a lot from this Budget. We believe the government should reduce GST and personal taxation rates to revive domestic consumption in economy.”
Despite slowdown in economy, Indian Inc is optimistic about the upcoming budget and expect it to usher in a balanced combination of reforms and regulations, which will, in turn, boost India’s growth story.