Budget 2018 is a Booster for Infrastructure Industry
The budget does seem to have some promising measures and provisions for the Indian tourism and hospitality industry that has emerged as one of the key drivers of growth. Today, when India has achieved the position of being the fastest growing domestic aviation market in the world, increasing the number of airports considerably is imperative to ensure that the growth impetus does not hit an infrastructure roadblock and the momentum continues. It is heartening to see the government backing up the ambitious UDAN plan with budgetary provisions for airports. What is noteworthy is that the thought process has been comprehensive, and in addition to connectivity there is a separate mention of expanding airport capacity by five times, which is a pressing problem, for many congested airports of the country. A reformist budget for startups and digital India. Government’s impetus on digitizing the rural hinterlands, focus on smart cities and commitment to blockchain technology, will encourage the promotion of digital payments across the country, thereby making India truly digital. Further, disallowing cash payments beyond Rs 10,000 by trusts and institutions will boost digital payments. There are small investors who needed to be protected, if they make some money. Therefore, small investors who earn up to a Rs 1 lakh a year from the market were all exempted. On the other hand, we found that there were a very large wealthy investors, domestic as well as international. In today’s set of situation, to continue with an exemption for the wealthiest is against the grain. This is particularly when you need revenue social sector schemes. Indian market is matured. It has withstood the impact of the nuclear tests or the cash ban and GST. It withstood all such events and strengthened beyond a point. Only those with some myopic vision will say, oh! One day the Sensex fell, this is a no confidence in the economy. That is a very myopic analysis. As far as direct tax is concerned, we are well ahead of the 16 per cent. Direct taxes are covering up for it. As far as the GST is concerned, I think that is the elephant in the room in the sense that nobody knows which way it is going. So far, we are having teething trouble putting all the mechanisms for anti-evasion in place. But once we are able to do that, I am quite certain that the GST revenues will increase. My fundamental faith in that is based on the fact that if your revenue base which ..