Pre- Budget hopes from the Mumbai industry
The Dollar Business Bureau
With demonetisation fraying, the nerves of the business community, the financial capital of India is relying on the finance minister to give them the much-needed soothing balm.
The Dollar Business gathered the reactions of some before the Budget started.
Sudhir Mehta: CII (WR) Chairman, and Managing Director, Pinnacle Industries:
Of all our recommendations, I think the following should be focused on. Firstly the privatization of 1000 PSU companies. The recommendation by the Kelkar committee on PPP has also been a thorny issue. This needs to implemented as soon as possible. On the issue of asset recycling, railways have opened up the PPP development, and we should see at least 50 new railway stations being taken up for investment revival in 2017.
We need to move from subsidies and incentives and reduce state regulation. The spend on R&D must be increased both for in-house as well as higher education. Today our public investment is 0.04% of GDP, while the global average is 10 times higher. The private sector investments are 0.10%, and this needs to come to 1.5%, which is a five-time increase. I think we should see some work on accelerated depreciation that could be emphasized upon. There should be no exemptions, but CII has recommended that taxation rates should come 18%.
Gautam Mehra, Tax & Regulatory Services Leader, PriceWaterHouseCoopers: We should be seeing a drop in corporate taxes. UK has decreased it, and US under President Trump has resolved to bring it at 25-30%. That is a huge drop. India following so, would help welcome foreign companies.
Ninad Karpe, Director, Aptech: I hope education doesn’t fall of the cliff. The quality of education is already deteriorating and I hope that it remains in priority in this budget.
Niranjan Hiranandani, Co-founder & Managing Director, Hiranandani Group: PM will have to do something for affordable housing. 31st December was a precursor to how the housing focus would shape up. But the problem is the segmentation is so small that even slum dwellers in Mumbai’s Deonar will not be able to accommodate in the price. The affordable housing is great, but at least 80% of Mumbai’s poorest will not be able to focus in it. The issue is genuine, but the government is disconnected with the pricing of land. We have already seen ready-reckoner rates increase by 10% year on year.