Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her third and Narendra Modi government’s ninth Budget on Februrary 1, 2021.
Here are the updates:
Budget will fuel job creation and boost economic momentum: Apollo Hospitals chairman
Dr. Prathap C. Reddy, chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group: “The COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented medical crisis and it underlined the importance of building a resilient healthcare infrastructure. Today, the Hon’ble Finance Minister’s said health was her first pillar and her announcements to develop primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare systems, greatly gladdened my heart. This ground-breaking focus on health which will provide access to medical care for all in our country, fuel job creation and boost economic momentum.
“India’s efforts in managing the pandemic have been exemplary — our frontline workers and scientists have been working tirelessly to save lives and develop indigenous vaccines. Now the allocation of ₹35,000 crores for COVID-19 vaccines and more if required, makes our glorious nation stand tall as a model for the world.
“We must now look at the next crisis of non-communicable diseases, which will be responsible for 80% of deaths and cause a 3.8 trillion USD burden to the country by 2030. It is important to focus on prevention, early detection and possible cure to protect Indian families from grief, financial burden and to help the GDP grow. India having proven its clinical excellence, should now focus on clinical trials, research, innovation and technology. There is potential for India to become the largest global health technology centre. As an additional opportunity, India can generate employment and be a healthcare service provider for the world.”
Pro-growth, pro-technology Budget: Lenovo Data Centre Group India MD
Vivek Sharma, MD – India, Lenovo Data Centre Group: “This is a pro-growth, pro-technology Budget with a vision to disinvest where required and re-energise infrastructure, healthcare, banking, and agriculture sectors through numerous employment and capital generating reforms.
“There is a strong focus on Digital India be it through setting a fintech hub at GIFT city, enhancing digital payments and use of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning etc. in governance, or making tax appellates faceless and tech enabled – all provide a solid foundation for a forward looking data-economy.”
Budget will boost toy industry: Red Ridge Global chairman
Vic Rana , group chairman, Red Ridge Global: “Looking at the world’s current crisis, the Budget presented by Finance Minister is welcoming. The decision of providing concessional BCD rate on various parts of electronic toys will boost the toy industry significantly in the coming years.
“Also, the government moving their focus on toy-based learning for lower level of school education will transform classroom transactions from rote learning to focused and delightful learning for students. However, time bound and transparent implementation will ensure success of the industry.”
Budget announcements augur well for the automotive sector: ACMA president
Deepak Jain, president, Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India: “Announcements with regards increased spend on road infrastructure, voluntary scrappage policy, Research & Development and PLI among others, augur well for the automotive sector. Further, continued focus on building rural and agricultural infrastructure and prioritizing agriculture credit growth will have long-term positive impact on rural demand for vehicles.
“It is also heartening that the budget outlay for the MSME sector has been doubled compared to last year. The auto component industry is dominated by MSME and this will provide them the necessary succour as the industry recovers.”
Budget has raised raised the vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat: CREDAI MCHI president
Deepak Goradia, president, CREDAI MCHI: “The first budget of the decade has raised the vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat with huge impetus and spending on infrastructure — key to creation of jobs and reviving the economy in the post COVID-19 area.
“The 1 year extension to ₹1.5 lacs tax deduction on homebuyers’ loan for affordable housing units along with tax incentive for affordable housing developers is welcomed by the realty industry. This will continue to provide support to accomplish the ‘Housing for All’ mission.
“The tax simplification on dividend income to REIT’s and INVITS will help mobilise in new resources for new projects.
“We hope there are additional sector specific measures to support/boost towards the Indian realty sector.”
Growth-focussed budget: Co-founder of Client Associates
Rohit Sarin, co-founder of Client Associates, Private Wealth Management: “It’s a growth-focussed budget which is the need of the hour. The government has done well to bite the bullet of expansionary fiscal policy with 6.8% fiscal deficit in FY22 after 9.5% deficit in FY21. This would bring in much needed investment in healthcare, manufacturing and infrastructure which shall show up in higher growth of the GDP in the years to come. This has been balanced with staying away from populist schemes and tinkering with direct tax structure as distractions. Overall a growth oriented and focused budget.”
Health and infrastructure rightly occupied centre stage: ICRA principal economist
Aditi Nayar, principal economist, ICRA Limited: “As expected, health and infrastructure rightly occupied centre stage in the FY2022 Union Budget, with spending directed towards healing the COVID-19 induced scarring.
“Timely implementation of the plethora of well-targeted budget announcements, will hold the key for sustaining the nascent growth revival that is currently underway, and helping the Indian economy attain a higher growth trajectory over the medium term.
“Based on the FY2021 RE, expenditure is expected to more-than-double in Q4 FY2021. Moreover, the capital outlay for FY2022 exceeds our forecast and should support a higher pace of GDP expansion in the coming fiscal.
“Substantially higher-than-expected expenditure, including support to FCI, has pushed the fiscal deficit for FY2021 and FY2022 well above our projections. However, the dated market borrowings are only somewhat higher than what we had foreseen, casting a discordant note. In our view, yields are expected to sustain a hardening bias, in the absence of frequent OMOs.
“Moreover, the glide path for the correction in the Government of India’s fiscal deficit is both back-ended, and more modest than what we had expected.
“A higher fiscal deficit anchor for the State governments should allow them to prioritise capex and NIP funding, but add to the overall general government borrowings in the coming fiscal.”
Monumental decision to make healthcare affordable: Thyrocare Technologies CEO
Arindam Haldar, CEO, Thyrocare Technologies: “We applaud the government for the budget announcement, highlighting ₹64,180 crore investment over a period of six years to improve primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare, in addition to the National Health Mission. The critical announcement of building 17,000 rural and 11,000 urban health and wellness centres with integrated public health labs in each district marks for a monumental decision and the first step to making healthcare affordable and accessible to all.
“Healthcare has been bucketed under the six pillars of the Union Budget 2021-22 which underscores the importance of focus on healthcare. Preventive healthcare, is one of the critical areas called out in the budget under health infra, where the investment allotted will further encourage preventive healthcare, which is the need of the hour for our country.
“We at Thyrocare Technologies encourage preventive health check-ups and screenings to reduce the burden of sick care delivery which proves to be more cost heavy for citizens.”
Get well soon type of Budget: NAREDCO president
Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, national president NAREDCO, commenting on the Union Budget, said, “It is a get well soon type of Budget, the ‘V’ shaped recovery being powered by the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
“On real estate aspects, the proposals for the annual budget reinforce the government’s focus on affordable housing. For the home buyer, the second extension of the deadline till 31 March 2022 for the additional ₹1.5 lakh tax deduction given on loans taken to buy a house in an affordable housing project is welcome, as is the developer whose affordable housing projects also get an extension for tax benefits, for projects completed till March 31, 2022.
Budget theme sell India: TMC
The TMC lashed out at the Centre over the Union Budget on Monday, saying it was 100 per cent “visionless” and its theme was “sell India.”
“India’s first paperless budget is also a 100% visionless budget. Theme of the fake budget is Sell India!” TMC spokesperson Derek O’Brien said
Budget, a case of ‘wrong diagnosis and prescription’: Congress
Terming the Union Budget as “directionless”, the Congress on Monday said it was a case of “wrong diagnosis and prescription”, and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman could have been “brave” by extending help to the poor, but chose to be “timid”.
He further added that ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ and increased spending on public health were two bright spots in an otherwise “directionless” budget which will be forgotten in a few weeks.
Terming the budget “disappointing” , Congress’ deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi alleged that the BJP has put India into insolvency and bankruptcy and is busy selling public-owned assets to 12-15 major companies.
“Rest of India which is struggling with rising costs, unemployment and corruption have to reconcile with a meaningless ‘Aatmanirbhar’ slogan,” he alleged.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari also alleged that the budget was a “national monetisation plan — short hand for National Sell out” and there was “no central focus in Budget”.
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor took a dig at the Centre over the budget, saying “this BJP government reminds me of the garage mechanic who told his client, ‘I couldn’t fix your brakes, so I made your horn louder’.”
“After promising a century, FM is out hit wicket at Zero!! Instead of calling it as ‘budget of the century’ it will be remembered as ‘blunder of the century’ by BJP Government,” Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill tweeted.
Growth oriented budget: CavinKare CMD
C.K. Ranganathan, Chairman & Managing Director, CavinKare Ltd termed it a growth oriented budget. He also welcomed the thrust given on infrastructure and rationalisation of custom duties. – Sanjay Vijayakumar
Budget for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, will strengthen economy: Rajnath Singh
Senior BJP leader and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday hailed the Union Budget as one for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, and asserted that this will strengthen the economy.
BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav said the budget will provide a major boost to India’s infrastructure, agriculture and healthcare.
Party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain praised the budget’s emphasis on affordable housing for all, and said it is sensitive to the needs of diverse sections of society.
Party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has presented a well laid-out plan to get the economy back on track.
“A forward-looking budget. It will make good on the government’s USD 5 trillion economy promise. Multiple pluses:increased govt spending in major sectors like infrastructure, agriculture and healthcare; safety net expanded for the vulnerable; & opportunities for greater private investments,” he tweeted.
(With inputs from Business Bureau)