The Union Budget 2015-16 is a positive budget and step in the right direction. I appreciate the fiscal discipline and intent to reduce the fiscal deficit that stood at 4.5% of GDP in 2013-14 to 4.1% for the financial year 2014-2015 and subsequently reduce it to 3.6% in 2015-16 and to 3% in 2016-17. Overall I see a spirit of enablement, long term growth with announcements of multiple schemes aimed at bringing a change in the economic and social ecosystem that includes job creation, skill development, bridging the social divide etc.
The efforts on overhauling India’s business environment and boosting the country’s presence in the global map of ease of doing business is commendable. Right from cleaning up the links to tightening of processes and stringent laws for eliminating black money, monetizing gold-Sovereign Gold Bond will have a populist sentiment around it. The commitment to further this process through online central excise and service tax registration in two working days, issuance of digitally signed invoices and maintenance of electronic records and cutting down of paper work and red tapism will be a significant move in digitizing India and IT industry players like us will look at working more closely with the Government on such projects.
The government had promised to make it easy to do business in India and the intent is evident in the budget. The announcement to roll out GST from April 2016, reduction in corporate tax from 30% to 25% over 4 years, reduction of tax on royalty and technical fee as well as re-assurance on retrospective taxation will complement the efforts of improving investor sentiment and making India the next business destination. The focus on critical sectors like infrastructure and power & renewable energy construction as well as focus on skill enhancement are also steps in this direction.. While revised service charge rates increases the risk of more cash transactions at a micro, small industry level, but this is perhaps a necessary and important a step towards GST implementation.
“Though there was no specific announcement on reducing Import duty on project imports or encouragement of energy saving products, we at Anchor believe that the overall direction of the budget was consistent with the government’s commitment to strengthen the confidence in the Indian economy. The macro indicators are positive and there is a direction set to strengthen the governance of financial markets and move towards global standards, commitment towards investment directly by the government and through public participation in Infrastructure development. The reduction in tax on Royalty will encourage technology infusion and manufacturing of technology products in India. The phased reduction in corporate tax, reduction of customs duty in specific raw materials and inputs will support the “Make in India” initiative further. Clearly, the Government’s intention is to empower the poor and the old in recognition of the rising health care costs and aging population. Overall, the budget has set a positive direction and its for the businesses to react in support now. ”
“It is a well thought through and balanced budget with lots of positives. The FM has clearly set the tone to kick-start the economy with Public and Infrastructure spending whilst emphasizing the need on ease of doing business.
The reduction in the Corporate taxation gives clarity for the next four years to anyone who is investing in India and postponing the GAAR by two years clears some of the ambiguity around taxation and conveys the intent of the government to move towards a better tax regime. The increase in Service tax from 12.36 to 14% in the lead-up to GST introduction next year would avoid the feeling of steep increase of taxes on service.The budget clearly outlines direction in devolution of power to the states and through the Jan Aadhar System, the intended subsidy benefits would directly reach the end consumers. Incentives on healthcare and encouraging savings through NPS support the common man.
“This time, the Finance Minister has given special attention to the IT and ITes sector. The announcement of Rs 1000 crore for promotion of start-ups is a highly positive move. We feel that the new government has presented a progressive budget, which will help in creating an investor-friendly environment and attract more foreign and domestic investment in the IT sector. As we all know, a boom in the IT Industry with advanced technology leads to direct growth of the economy. Hence, the government has laid a special focus on this space. The new mechanism known as Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) will be a techno-financial incubation and facilitation programme to support all aspects of start-up business and other self employment activities particularly in technology-driven areas. This too will open more avenues in the sector and be a veritable shot in the arm.”
HealpingDoc.com (Mr. Amit Bansal, CEO)
The increased healthcare budget allocation is step in the right direction but the amount is still far too less to built an effective and credible public healthcare system in India. The good news is that healthcare has started to get the due attention.
The increase in tax exemption limit for health insurance will have significant impact on the penetration of health insurance in the country. This would help corporates to offer a wider range of health packages, and would go further to reduce out-of-pocket health spending.