Prominent Indian entrepreneurs Yusuffali MA, T S Kalyanaraman and Dr B R Shetty have hailed India’s federal budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and termed it pro-growth.
Yusuffali MA, chairman of the LuLu Group, said: “This budget coming after the demonetisation drive, looks like a game changing one. Initiatives such ‘BharatNet’ to connect rural headquarters and 100% electrification of villages by 2018, is sure to provide a big boost in making India cashless and to the digital economy.”
“As a retailer I welcome the tax incentives given for digital transactions and point of sale (POS) equipment industries and limiting the cash transaction to Rs3 lakh, which will not only help the vision of becoming cash-less but also make India a more transparent economy,” Yusuffali said.
He said the announcement pertaining to five exclusive tourism economic zones will have all-round impact on many related industries especially for a state like Kerala. “Obviously, the huge enhancements in the allocations for agriculture, women’s welfare, infrastructural and rural development are sure to boost our economy towards becoming a most favoured destination for FDI. From an investor point of view, the finance minister’s assurance of further liberalising the FDI norms is very welcome news.
Yusuffali said: “Setting up of skill-enhancing centres to train job seekers going abroad will definitely help our youth get better positions and make them more competitive as per the global standards.”
Kalyanaraman, chairman and managing director of Kalyan Jewellers, said: “The budget is growth-oriented with its emphasis on strengthening the rural economy, affordable housing and encouragement to Indian medium and small enterprises.”
He said the reduction in taxation to 5% from 10% for salaried persons in the Rs2 lakh to Rs5 lakh bracket will provide relief and more disposable income in the hands of the consumers.
The target to double farm income in five years will be beneficial to the sector as rural India constitutes more than half of jewellery purchases.
The ban on cash transactions over Rs3 lakh will bring transparency and benefit organised branded jewellery players.
“However, we were looking forward to some relief in gold import duties and presentation of PAN card for purchases of jewellery beyond Rs2 lakh and above which has not found any mention in the budget,” Kalyanaraman said. Shetty, chairman of the UAE Exchange and executive vice chairman and CEO of NMC, said: “Macro-economically a good budget, wherein the fiscal prudence continues. There are certain trendsetting initiatives this time like the consolidation of Union and Railway budgets, bringing railways into the centrestage.
“Common man to get great relief with the reduction of tax to 5% for income between Rs2.5 lakh and Rs5 lakh. Healthcare gets an impetus with establishment of two more AIIMS, which means affordable quality care to more people.
“Rural development gets into focus with infrastructure and cleanliness taking the lead. Farmers to get double the income in five years, intensifying focus on agriculture, the spine of the economy.
“National agricultural market on digital space will get the best price for the farmers. The homeless to get houses by 2022 is a great move. Life and skill development for youth, women, children and minorities are defined well. Digital economy aims to bring transparency in political funding, income structures and financial inclusion, enhancing the lifestyle of the poor.
“It does sound progressive in approach, just that the aspect of corporate tax could have been a bit bolder. But the intention of the government is clear and positive, which is good for the economy as a whole.”
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