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Industry leaders' opinion on Union Budget 2022

Industry leaders' opinion on Union Budget 2022

Mr. Dinesh Khara, Chairman, SBI

“The budget continues to strike a balance between the challenges posed by the recurring COVID-19 waves and the need to contain the economic damage due to pandemic. The budget achieves this delicate balance quite well. The emphasis going forward is on seven parallel tracks - PM GatiShakti, Inclusive Development, Productivity Enhancement & Investment, Sunrise Opportunities, Energy Transition and Climate Action and Financing of Investments. On the banking and finance side the announcements are significant. The budget proposes to set up 75 Digital Banking Units (DBUs) in 75 districts of the country by Scheduled Commercial Banks. This proposal is in sync with our ongoing digital banking initiatives. The most significant announcement of the budget are higher allocation to Capital expenditure and extension of ECLGS - particularly the specific support to hospitality & related sectors. The Budget is a very well-crafted statement of intent, drawing from the experience and enhances growth prospects of India in post COVID world.”

Mr. Venu Srinivasan, Chairman, TVS Motor Company

“Union Budget 2022 sets the pace for the Indian Economy’s growth trajectory amidst the challenges brought forth by the pandemic. The big boost to capital expenditure is welcome and it would give a fillip to the Indian economy. For the automobile sector, we welcome the ‘PM Gati Shakti Master Plan’ focusing on building world-class infrastructure and improved connectivity for commuters. The strong push towards augmenting agricultural productivity should help enable buoyant rural demand. In the electric mobility space, we strongly support the measures undertaken by Government to promote clean and green mobility, mainly introducing the battery-swapping policy will be instrumental in supporting an efficient EV ecosystem. There is an impactful thrust towards renewable energy incentives with an increased focus on reducing infrastructural waste for a greener tomorrow. We appreciate the Government’s vision of building the skilling ecosystem for youth in India, which will play a critical role in driving innovation in the industry.”

Suvankar Sen, CEO, Senco Gold & Diamonds

FM’s announcement of reduction in customs duty on cut and polished diamonds and gemstones and plan to develop a simplified regulatory framework to facilitate export of jewellery through e-commerce are positive steps which will enable the sector to grow in the country and boost exports. We look forward to its implementation later this year. The reduction in import duty on diamonds will help generate increased demand for diamond jewellery in the market. Overall the focus on investment in infrastructure is positive for the economy, also the review of Special Economic zones Act will help boost the export infrastructure.

Mr. Rakesh Sharma, MD&CEO, IDBI Bank

This is a growth oriented, forward looking budget with focus on capital expenditure in the infrastructure sector, particularly in roads, railways and their associated logistics. Coming on the back of nascent economic growth, estimated to be around 9.2% in the current year, and in the midst of the third wave of the pandemic, the Union Budget provides for targeted policy prescriptions for enabling inclusive development, productivity enhancement and financing of investment mainly through PPP model. Keeping in view the prevailing financial strain, especially on small businesses, during the pandemic, the extension of ECLGS till March 2023, and expansion in the guarantee cover of CGTMSE, will indeed be a boon for MSMEs, which have been primary beneficiaries under the scheme. I am sure that the Budget announcements will go a long way in achieving the goal of “Atmanirbhar Bharat.”

Mr Yatin Gupte, Chairman & Managing Director, Wardwizard Innovations & Mobility Ltd

“We welcome the futuristic budget presented by our Hon’ble Finance Minister. I consider it as a visionary budget largely focused on sustainability and transition towards the cleaner and greener mobility, which is future of the transportation. The proposed Battery Swapping Policy will provide a mammoth push to the EV adaptability campaign across the nation. We are eagerly looking forward to the Government’s ambitious vision towards upgrading the EV infrastructure ecosystem and also, easing the supply chain through multi modal logistics park which will augment the movement of goods and services across the region. PM Gati Shakti will act as a catalyst for the industry, 60 lac new jobs will be created which will be benefit the automobile industry. With the infra boost and changes in corporate taxes, the industry is optimistic that this budget will definitely auger well for the economic recovery and overall growth for the country.”

Tarun Chugh, MD& CEO, Bajaj Allianz Life

“The overall budget had two positive highlights – one is on the infrastructure push and the other on how systematically the government is prioritising digitisation and building the eco-system. I believe these are the key attributes towards the country’s sustained long-term growth. As an industry, the life insurance sector, has systematically played its role in nation building by leveraging our long-term funds towards infra projects and other similar projects of the nation. The focus of this budget only sharpens this focus for us. Furthermore, the discussion on NPS is also timely as we need to continuously emphasise on the need to invest towards post retirement needs. Irrespective of the customer segment discussed in this budget, I believe through interventions of these kinds on national platforms will only enable many more people realise the benefits of saving towards their retirement needs. I’m hopeful that the government will enable the life insurance industry to play a greater role in bringing in more people to save towards retirement needs, in the time to come.”

Mr. Samir Modi, Managing Director, Modi Enterprises

“It is heartening to see the strong stimulus incorporated in the Union Budget to catalyse overall digitisation of the economy along with the provision for digital currency to be rolled out by RBI. The accent on catalysing domestic manufacturing and powering the start-up ecosystem through adequate policy incentives are expected to be sure enablers to steer the Indian economy in a progressive direction. Besides, the boost to rejuvenate rural demand and restoring confidence in the real estate sector are surely a shot in the arm. I am also delighted to see the special emphasis laid on the education space with access to international education in India through regulatory reforms and robust provisions made for skill development, which is indeed a far sighted and future ready move."

Mr. Gopichand P. Hinduja, Co-Chairman, the Hinduja Group

“We compliment the PM and the FM for presenting a forward looking budget to make India future-ready. Great roadmap for Infrastructure development backed by clear policy direction of the steep increase in Capex to Rs. 7.5 trillion yet targeting fiscal deficit at 6.4%. It’s a great attempt by the Finance Minister to lay the economic blueprint for India’s growth in the next 25 years. However, the devil is always in the detail, and the success of the measures taken would depend on the government’s ability to focus on implementation. Allocating 68% of the defense procurement budget to the domestic industry only will have a positive cascading effect across multiple sectors. There could have been more work on treating OCI/NRI investments at par with investments made by resident investors, which has been a long-standing demand of the global diaspora. Perhaps Healthcare also could have been given higher priority.’’

Mr. Anil Agarwal, Chairman Vedanta

“I congratulate FM Nirmala Sitharaman Ji for a growth- oriented and forward looking Budget for the masses. It sets the stage for rapid progress post pandemic. Compliments to Hon. Prime Minister for his long term vision, thinking ahead to India at 100 in the year in which India turns 75. I have no doubt that India will be a prosperous country in the near future. Delighted to see that the next phase of Ease of Doing Business reforms will be centered on trust-based governance. I believe the time for moving to self-certification across the board has come. We stand with the government in its exhortation for Sabka Prayas. The private sector is committed to nation building, job creation and will work with the government and the people of India to fulfill our goals.”

Kamal Nandi, Business Head and Executive Vice President- Godrej Appliances, part of Godrej & Boyce.

“The budget presented by the government aims to provide long run impetus for growth providing big technology push along with focus on infrastructure - digital access, road access, urban planning, which will help to boost consumption across multiple sectors including consumer appliances. Also, urban infrastructure development and completion of 80 Lac affordable houses under PM Awas Yojana in 22-23 will help entry level appliances over the next 2 – 3 years. An increase in the capital expenditure should also aid growth by driving up investments. Moreover, continued focus on PLI will help generate employment and boost indigenous manufacturing ecosystem.

With no change in the personal income tax, we hope that GST council will rationalize rates for Air Conditioners, Refrigerators, Washing Machines among others, especially the energy efficient appliances, to encourage consumer demand. And we hope consumers will pay more attention to climate impact across all choices they make in future.”

Mr. Barnik Chitran Maitra, Managing Partner and CEO of Arthur D Little, India & South Asia

“The government has been taking a longer horizon for the development, which I would call a visionary approach and to which the Hon’ble Finance Minister has termed that as the Amrit Kaal, the 25-year-long lead up to India@100.

PM GatiShakti is a transformative approach to improve the infrastructure of the country and thereby boost the economy, and ease of doing business. The proposed 35.4% increase in capital expenditure, directed towards infrastructure, is a welcome move to the GatiShakti vision. The integrated or multimodal way of developing the transportation sector will improve the project management execution challenges and provide better connectivity to the people and goods.

One of the things that stood out very loudly and clearly from the Budget Speech was the government’s focus on promoting Digital Economy. Announcements such as Digital Rupee, Paperless e-bill system, National Tele Mental Health program, Digital university, and Kisan Drones cover different aspects of the digital interventions.

The government’s commitment to transition to Carbon Neutral Economy was also quite visible in the Budget speech of the Hon’ble Finance Minister. Overall, the Budget provides policy stability and consistency from the previous budget and other policy announcements while setting the stage for sustained economic growth.”

T. V. Narendran, CEO & MD, Tata Steel “The Hon’ble Finance Minister presented yet another progressive, future focussed and inclusive budget that aims to position the economy on an accelerated growth trajectory, especially in the backdrop of an encouraging broader economic recovery. It is heartening to note the government’s sustained focus on infrastructure and increased public spending while staying committed to the fiscal discipline and stable policy regime. We welcome Budget 2022-23 and look forward to concerted implementation of the proposed reforms to ensure the benefits percolate across the economy.

The increased allocation to infrastructure spends will certainly have a multiplier effect on the economy, generating employment opportunities across the country and creating demand across product categories, including steel. The PM Gatishakti Yojana, expansion of National Highway network, and introduction of multi-modal national parks will play a crucial role in modernising the country’s logistics infrastructure, make manufacturing more competitive and give boost to entrepreneurial opportunities in the country. The earmarking of 68% capex for the Defence sector for domestic procurement will give fillip to the Make in India programme.

The process roadmap for Ease of Doing Business 2.0 is a welcome move towards improving productivity, efficiency and transparency and will pave way for resolving complex issues related to green clearances and land acquisition. The announcements on affordable housing, increased access to tap water and creation of robust digital infrastructure in rural areas will foster inclusive development.

To address the climate related concerns, the budget includes long-term plans to enable transition to a green economy. Inclusion of sovereign green bonds in government borrowing programmes, PLI scheme for manufacturing of high efficiency solar modules, financing of projects to reduce carbon intensity are welcome steps which will help achieve our net zero ambition. The battery swapping policy will also aid the sustainability journey and encourage the adoption of EVs. The budget also addresses the critical context of urban planning with focus on setting up clean public transport systems, an imperative for smart and sustainable living.

The extension of customs duty exemption on steel scrap is a positive step to drive availability of scrap in the country, will help mitigate the carbon footprint of steel sector and benefit the MSME secondary producers.

Overall, the budget 2022-23 sets the course for realising the ambition of a $5 trillion economy.”

Mr Neeraj Akhoury, CEO India, Holcim and CEO & MD Ambuja Cements

“The Union Budget 2022 gives a major boost to the infrastructure sector that will help the economy to recover, and grow, at pace. The PM GatiShakti framework is a visionary approach to long-term development. The cement sector will play a major role in this development journey of the country.

The Budget highlights the importance of Sustainable Development and shows India’s seriousness of its Net Zero commitment made recently during the COP26 Summit. Even at Holcim India and its two operating companies in India--Ambuja Cements and ACC, sustainability remains at the core of our business strategy.

Along with the focus on clean mobility and green energy, the proposed measures and reforms for boosting the hydro-power and solar power capabilities of India will help the nation to achieve the targets of 500-gigawatt renewable energy by 2030.

The introduction of Sovereign Green Bonds in public sector projects is the right direction in financing the decarbonizing initiatives.Overall, Budget 2022 can be termed as a progressive policy in enabling India to transition towards a green and digital economy."


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