Industry heads in Hyderabad react to Budget 2017

The Budget struck balance between fiscal prudence and public spending

The Dollar Business Bureau 

Budget 2017-18 has given much to be happy about, in terms of striking a balance between fiscal consolidation and public spending. Amidst shrinking private investment, short-term negative effects of demonetisation, and dim global trade scenario, the Budget was a presentation of hope. 

While SMEs have much to celebrate after Jaitley announced 25% tax for companies having a turnover of less than 50 crore, start-ups got their tax holiday extended from 3 out of 5 years (in 2016-17) to 3 out of 7 years (in 2017-18). In the government’s bid to digitalize the economy, it has also caped cash transactions at Rs. 3,00,000. 

Overall, the budget refocused the government’s prime policy areas of fiscal consolidation, tax compliance, digitalization, rural upliftment, poverty alleviation, infrastructure development and industry growth.

At Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) Budget viewing session, prominent industrialists from Hyderabad shared their post-Budget reactions: 

V Rajanna, Vice President & Regional Head, TCS: 

Budget has been in line with our expectations and very forward looking. Imparting skills to youth, constructing airports in two-tier cities, leveraging digital technology, and boosting infrastructure (roads, railways, metro) were some of the highlights that were announced. 

Vanitha Datla, Vice Chairperson, Elico Ltd: 

In the last two years, current account deficit, fiscal deficit and inflation have significantly reduced. The present budget is pushing for growth of industry and economy.

The fine print in the annexures is yet to be read and analysed. The devil may well be in the detail. 

Suchitra K Ella, Joint Managing Director, Bharat Biotech International Ltd: 

In the health sector, one lakh new wellness centres is a good way forward. Five thousand medical PG seats being added will also help improve healthcare.

Not much has been said in relation to life sciences and biotech, which is a little disappointing. 

Amendment of Indian Drugs and Cosmetics Act is a welcome step in terms of encouraging local production and compliance with international standards.

Overall, India's growth since independence has been outstanding. We can proudly say that India has now overtaken Great Britain's GDP, the country that ruled us 70 years ago. 

Mahesh K Desai, Chairman & Managing Director, Meera & Ceiko Pumps Pvt Ltd: 

The SME sector welcomes the budget. The Finance Minister has given importance to the sector that is commensurate with its major contribution to wealth creation, job creation and exports.

The benefit of reduction of SME tax by 5% will benefit 90% of the companies. 

Hopeful of finding support for technological funding in the fine print. 

Mahendra Agarwal, Founder & Managing Director, Gati Ltd: 

End-to-end integrated logistical solutions in cargo and railways will go a long way in benefiting logistical companies. The budget was satisfactory in this regard.

We're looking forward to GST.  it will simplify a lot of movement across the country. 

Suman Reddy, Managing Director, Pega Systems Pvt. Ltd: 

The budget has tackled tax non-compliance and alleviation of black money very well.

There were not many tax rebates for start-ups. The announcements in the Stand Up India and Start Up India programmes were not satisfactory. Measures that would facilitate easy entry and exit were expected, which found no mention. Hopefully, there will be more in the fine print. 

Adopting digital economy in all sectors will indirectly give a lead to growth in the start-up ecosystem. In this regard, the budget has done very well.

Raghupathy, Deputy Director General, CII: 

In pursuing green initiatives. the government is walking the talk. Installation of bio-toilets in trains by 2019 is a good step in this direction. Also, two major railway stations are to adopt waste management.  A 5,000 crore corpus for water management is also a welcome move. The motto of ‘per drop more crop’ must be aggressively pursued in the field of water management. 

The announcement regarding strategic crude oil reserves will help India save a lot of foreign exchange. This is a wise step taken to hedge against future increase in global crude oil prices. 

C Kesava Sreenivasulu, Patil Rail Infrastructure Pvt Ltd: 

The budget placed much-needed stress on ‘honouring the honest tax payer’. The revamp of taxation policy is focused on widening the tax base, which is a good way forward.

The limit on cash transactions imposed will drive the Digital India mission forward. 

The abolition of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) will enhance ‘ease of doing business’ in India.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Feb 01, 2017 12:00 IST