Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday presented Union Budget 2017-18 with a focus on infrastructure, real estate and rural sector while cutting down tax rates for low income earners and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.
Experts, analysts and the corporate have welcomed the budget although adding that a cut in Corporate Tax was expected.
Here are the reactions from industrialists and experts on Union Budget 2017-18:
Amit Kumar Agarwal, CEO, NoBroker.com
"The Budget has brought some welcome news for the start-up ecosystem in the country by increasing the tax exemption period for start-ups from the current 3 years, to 5 years. Taxing early stage starts is a major growth deterrent and the move to increase the tax holiday will boost the ecosystem and facilitate the risk taking capacity of start-ups. However MAT (Minimum Alternate Tax) of 18.5% will still be applicable on start-ups in this period. We recommend exempting start-ups from MAT in this duration, as that would ensure a complete tax holiday and financial encouragement."
Ashish Hemrajani, CEO and Co-founder, BookMyShow
“We look forward to the GST (Goods and Services Tax) roll out in the coming financial year. The e-commerce space will hugely benefit from real time taxation which not only will introduce the required transparency but will further enable free flow of products and services. We also hope that the GST will play a critical role in automating demand curve pricing to a large extent, thereby improving yields and offering much-needed clarity on taxation in the entertainment ticketing space with respect to e-tax for cinema, plays, live events and sports ticketing, similar to airline pricing. A unified tax structure would also help in removing ambiguity and ease the process for e-tax application and collection. The Industry and the Government will both be winners.”
Priti Shah, CEO, Paynear Solutions
"This is a great move and encouragement to fintech companies to play a big role in the eco system to digitise India. Paynear is keen in having decent market share and plans to deploy more than 1.5 lac devices this financial year.“
Peter Chang, Region Head – South Asia & Country Manager for ASUS India.
“The budget gave the smartphone industry a lot to look forward to in the coming year. Government’s thrust on digitization through its push on Aadhaar-enabled payments will provide impetus to the demand of mobile phones in the country. The BHIM app has already been adopted by 125 lakh people and government’s plans to introduce two new schemes to promote its use will make the concept of a cashless society and digital currency, a reality. In addition to this, proposed extension of the OFC network to 1,50,000 gram panchayats for high speed broadband connectivity and rollout of 4G in the country will create a more digitally inclusive society. The budget was also conducive to promoting domestic manufacturing of electronics. With a provision of INR 745 crores in 2017-18 in incentive schemes like M-SIPS and EDF, manufacturing of smartphones in India should see a boost. We now look forward to the successful rollout of GST this year. Besides achieving standardization of taxation levels and making interstate movement of goods easier, it should also help sellers achieve similar selling prices. This coupled with all the other initiatives will enable us to bring more people under the digital umbrella.”
Pankaj Patel, President, FICCI
“This budget would tremendously strengthen the economic muscle of the country. It is directionally correct, fiscally prudent and strengthens the governance fabric of the nation. FICCI compliments the Finance Minister on his vision for the economy which alongside economic growth also ensures economic justice. Growth without inclusion can be a liability for the country.”
Harsh Dhingra, Chief Country Representative, India, Bombardier Transportation
“Commuters and industry can rejoice with focussed reforms on Railways advancement. Bombardier is pleased with focused reforms, new projects announced and stress on safety initiatives in the budget. It clearly outlines the path and focus on safety with a focused fund having corpus of INR 100,000 crore. Safety is also one of the topmost priorities for Bombardier.”
Pavan Choudary, Director General, Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI)
"The FM's acknowledgement that the Medical Device rules will be globally harmonised and that this would facilitate investments in this sector is a reflection of the growing understanding of the international interconnectedness of this sector and the importance of global technology & investment infusion."
Srikumar Misra Founder, MD and CEO, Milk Mantra
"The dairy processing infra fund of 8000crs is a positive step for the sector, however, the government needs to take a wholistic view and develop a policy framework to support both cooperatives and private dairy processing companies. With the "Make in India" narrative, the Govt needs to focus on private dairy companies as well, as private sector is contributing around 45% of the total organized milk procurement and has grown it's share from 6.5% to 12% compared to 9% for milk cooperatives in the last 10 years. The fund should also be structured to provide support for entrepreneurial dairy companies in the form of cost efficient patient debt for setting up additional processing capacity and capitalizing dairy supply chain infrastructure."
Gautam Mehra, PricewaterhouseCoopers
"The commitment to stay with fiscal discipline while continuing with rural and infrastructure spending is a positive outcome. Similarly, reduction in tax for SMEs and income tax for the middle class should result in 'tax inclusion', which is important given the backdrop of demonetisation and the upcoming GST. Moreover, the intent of ease of doing business comes through in the form of domestic TP exemptions, abolition of FIPB, introduction of accountability on tax officers and reduction of timelines for scrutiny, are all in the right direction. Also, granting infra status to affordable housing sector will help boost the sector."
Milind Kothari, BDO India
"Retaining the headline tax rates is a major disappointment for India Inc as there was a consensus that the Budget will reduce corporate tax rates. This would have helped us win more investment, we need to compete with the rest of the world, including emerging economies.”
Girish Vanvari, KPMG India
"While tax rate for income between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh has been reduced to 5 per cent from 10, the additional 10 per cent surcharge on income between Rs 50 lakh and above is a dampener," he said. Corporate tax reduction to 25 per cent for MSMEs with turnover up to Rs 50 crore will benefit, will help the largest section of corporate India. All these reiterate the thrust of the budget to enhancing the tax base and move towards digitisation. More importantly, no changes in the capital gains tax regime for listed stocks and clarification on non-applicability of indirect transfer rules to FPIs and AIFs will be a big relief to the investors and could trigger an immediate rally on the stock markets.”
Getamber Anand, National President, CREDAI
"We must appreciate the fact that the government is very serious on the mission of housing for all and in the same light we have seen some extremely positive announcements in the budget today. Affordable housing getting infrastructure status will enable efficient supply of housing stock in the country and provide benefits associated with it."
Samir Jasuja, CEO and Founder, PropEquity
"One of the key demand of the real estate sector has been to get industry status to get preferential and lower borrowing rates from banks. This announcement will surely provide ample push for the affordable housing sector in India, a key initiative under housing for all."
Brotin Banerjee, Managing Director and CEO, Tata Housing
"Easy and dedicated access to institutional financing, higher limit on external commercial borrowings will attract more investments and assure sustained growth of affordable housing in India, making it the core driving segment for real estate. On the other hand, long term financing at lower rates will reduce costs of construction for developers allowing them to pass on benefits to consumers. The new status will increase the resource allocation for the sector, catalysing housing supply and reducing the supply gap.”
Anshuman Magazine, Chairman India and South East Asia, CBRE
"While we are yet to read the fine print, this is indeed an important step to promote access to priority lending, thereby spurring supply of low cost housing units across various cities in India. Relaxation in area measurement as well as completion timelines to seek tax exemption are welcome steps."
Saurabh Gadgil, Chairman and Managing Director, PNG Jewellers
"Focus on farmers, infrastructure and digital economy will create transparency and will have an overall positive sentiment in the market."
Praveenshankar Pandya, Chairman, Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC)
"We welcome the move to extend Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras to more than 600 districts as the focus to improve on the quality and the market relevance of vocational training will also benefit our industry. Due to transaction fee on all digital purchase, the demand is likely to be affected. However, we will be more clear on the issue when we get the Budget document. "
"We welcome various measures to promote digital economy announced in the new Budget."
Gaurav Dua, Sharekhan research head
“No bad news on long term capital gains tax is relief for equity investors. Overall, Union Budget is positive for economy in general and equity markets in particular."
Rakesh Tarway, Reliance Securities research head
"The Government has presented a reasonably positive Budget, given the constraints, from equity markets perspective. No mention of changes in capital gains for listed securities and concessions to FPIs will soothe market nerves."
Dhiraj Relli, MD & CEO, HDFC Securities
"The markets are rejoicing as they can continue to enjoy the fruits of investment."
Parth Nyati, COO, TradingBells
"Long term capital gain tax on equity markets remained unchanged which will further boost investor participation. Service Tax and STT also remained unchanged."
Abhijit Chakraborty, COO, Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSEI)
"Listing of IRCTC and IRFC shall be significant catalyst for capital markets. More PSU ETFs shall aid the growth of this emerging sector in the market."
Abnish Kumar Sudhanshu, Director, Amrapali Aadya Trading & Investments
We rate the Budget as 'no bad news is good news'. The Modi Government's Budget focus remained more on the growth of rural India, keeping the fiscal consolidation in place and much needed boost to the stalled economic activities post demonetisation."