Budget Expectations 2019 from Infrastructure Sectors
February 1, 2019 is that one date where all industry players are eying on. This time a slightly different from the rest as the NDA Government stands on the threshold of the Election year. This is the most crucial times where the government needs to regain confidence from its stakeholders to be re-elected in power. The government needs to address the industry concerns practically. As a rule, when the occupant government is nearing the finish of its term and a decision is around the bend, it looks for the endorsement of Parliament to meet the continuous uses of the administration for the initial four months of the financial year.
Afterward, when another administration assumes responsibility, a full spending plan is given modifications. Be that as it may, the BJP government, which is sure of being reelected into power, is probably going to propose a full spending plan, as per media reports. With the present condition of the market, the up and coming spending plan can be a chance to help reestablish the trust in partners, report further changes, and steer the sunlight based industry the correct way to meet the objective which was set by the NDA government in the start of its five-year term. Here is what some industry players aspire for:
Alok Dubey, CFO, Acer India –”For the year 2019, we are optimistic that this year, the union budget will focus more on Digital India initiative in order to shape the IT infrastructure and increase adoption of technology to encourage digitization. Last year, the budget did not really see any major inclusions for the IT sector. We also, feel that slashing of corporate taxes will help the larger companies and help Indian entities to compete globally and attract more investment to the country. In addition to this, it would be great to see the budget focusing on lowering the personal income tax slabs, and tax saving schemes which would lead to higher disposable income and directly benefit the normal taxpayer.”
Anandeep K Chadha, Chief Financial Controller, Assetz Property Group
The real estate industry has been experiencing a slowdown across all segments, with problems of high input costs, low liquidity and high inventory plaguing the sector. Given that the real estate sector is a significant contributor to India’s GDP, assistance from the Government in terms of giving this sector industry status and incentivising the home loan seekers better would strengthen the sector, and in turn the overall economy of the country. The government also needs to review the GST rates across the inputs used for construction to enable passing benefits to the end customers. We are hopeful that the Government will address these issues in the forthcoming interim budget.
Pradeep Misra, CMD, Rudrabhishek Enterprises Limited
In the election year, the continuity of policies and union budgetary allocations always remain a challenge. Since it is an interim budget, we are less likely to see a major shift in the infrastructure policies, which have long gestation period in terms of impact. The ongoing infrastructure programs such asPMAY, Smart Cities, UDAN scheme and Railways & Highways projects etc., are in full swing. The budgetary allocations on these programs must not be affected. The government may also announce the outlines of few futuristic programs that addresses the need of increasing infrastructure gap in urban areas. This will at least work as the guidance. Infrastructure sector is definitely looking for the single-window clearance system, speedier approval processes, GST fine tuning, classification of entire real estate sector under infrastructure and things like that. In Real Estate, there is need of single window clearance and online approval system. However for the long awaited policy reforms in infrastructure, probably we will have to wait for the regular budget that will be presented by the next government, post General Elections.
Sandeep Sharma, Founder & CEO, Cogent Transware Solutions- As the Union Budget FY19 is going to be announced soon, all the stakeholders in logistics and supply chain industry have high hopes for some major positive policies that would shape a conducive environment for a commendable growth of all. As e-commerce is expected to produce the major volumes in logistics and supply chain, this year’s budget may roll out clear-cut policies drawn in favor of e-commerce, which in turn, will give a major boost to the logistics sector. Also, there is a realized need of exemption or minimum level of bank guarantee norm for MSMEs and startups in government and PSU contracts as most of these contracts are being handled by traditional and long-established companies. Observing a massive scope in logistics, more and more startups are coming into the sector catering to different verticals as such. If things are made quite simpler and easier for these new entrants.
Karan Bedi, COO, Blaupunkt– As not many days are left for the announcement of interim Union Budget FY19, a lot of high expectations are being made by the varied sectors with it. The Indian appliances and consumer electronics industry managing the hiccups produced by GST implementation last year has now set on the budget in the hope of favorable policies and regulations. It relatively had been a stable position in comparison to others in the volatile market scenario, but there is definitely a need to create a conducive environment for the new entrants to grow. Lowering the taxes, clarifying and simplifying the regulations for making a foreign direct investment, and facilitating R&D in the domestic market are some of the initiatives we expect to be given.
Ravi Saxena, MD Wonderchef- Rationalisation of GST from the current 18% slab to 12% will boost sales for many consumer durable products. It will also increase the penetration of these durables in the rural market. Additionally, further development of rural economy will also lead to an increase in demand of the consumer goods. Schemes to boost the rural economy will certainly strengthen rural India further. The biggest anticipation is on raising the Personal Income Tax Exemption slab from the current 2.5 lakhs to 5 lakhs. Additionally, it is expected that the deductions limit under Section 80C be raised, as it will result an increase in disposable income, spending power and purchase of durables. The government should also consider to cautiously regularize e-commerce platforms, as online marketplaces have positively impacted consumer durable sales in our country. Additionally, the government has reduced the corporate tax from 30% to 25% for MSMEs with less than Rs. 250 Cr turnover. A rebate on corporate tax is expected by consumer durable goods manufacturers.
Sahil Mittal Co-Founder, ShiftKarado– “The time post-GST implementation of 18% has been a tough time for the logistics startups. The spike in fuel charges and toll taxes are trying its level best to choke the startups, the upheaval that the big market players are able to survive. In the FY19 budget, we hope the central government will come up with lenient policies keeping the current challenges in the sector under consideration and bring relaxation to the startups accordingly. If GST tax can be reduced a little or the allocation of resources for infrastructure are increased, the new players can occupy a secure place in the market. The efforts should be focused on reducing the transportation costs, which in turn, will put living costs and inflation under control. Moreover, clarity on the several aspects of E-Way Bill application is required. Presently, Indian logistics sector registers CAGR of 7 % on an average, which needs to be accelerated and we are optimistic about the opportunities that FY 19 will bring in.
Sajiv Nath, MD, Yokogawa India Ltd
It seems to me that this year’s budget will focus on the consumer may be by lowering the tax rates for the coming year. There have been a lot of expectations from the budget by the real estate, automobile sectors etc to name a few. The 2018 Union Budget saw the Finance Ministry enhancing tariff protection for a wide range of sectors, including mobile phones, electrical and non-electrical machinery, automobiles and textiles. We have been witnessing growth in the automation and tech sector and feel the policies could be better to boost the sector. There are a few expectations that we have from the Government this year. The measures might sound populist but the government needs to agree that it took a stand in the previous budget to enhance tariffs to protect the interests of the domestic manufacturers. But, I think to a certain extent some more serious measures are required for ease of business. The reason for the same is that the industry is struggling and working hard to keep the business going in the face of grasping tactics from MNC’s.”9 will bring in.
Sankey Prasad, Chairman and Managing Director, Synergy Property Development Services– A need for rationalisation of GST in real estate would go a long way in creating a favorable environment in driving business opportunities across the Indian economy. Also, within the industry corridors and in my opinion too, the overarching sentiment is that the stamp duty be included in the purview of GST, and a structured single-window clearance be established to streamline the sector. These are some of the areas that we hope the interim Budget 2019 addresses.”
Shivam Sinha, Founder and CEO, Indiassetz–
“We are hoping that this interim budget will bring some relief to both the developers as well as buyers. Rationalisation of the taxes on real estate and streamlining of taxation norms will make it more attractive and incentivised for people to invest in this sector. We expect the budget to focus on facilitating smart city growth and infrastructure. Real estate holds immense potential and investment opportunities as it addresses the future challenges of the society and also goes a long way in boosting the socio – economic confidence and willingness to invest in the minds of the people. We look forward to structural incentives, funding announcements in the upcoming budget and a convincing game plan to ensure that the allocated funds are utilized as specified, within a specified deadline. We expect the government to provide interest rate subvention for first home buyers and generate separate income tax exemption limit for EMIs on housing to make housing affordable for the middle class. We also expect the government to increase the home loan caps eligible for subsidy and abolish angel tax for Government recognized start-ups.”
Manish Kaul Founder SoOLEGAL– Given the Digital India Initiative, and fast changing consumer buying patterns induced by IT, Internet penetration across the length and breadth of India percolating down to rural belts should get prime focus with favourable taxation to IT Infrastructure players. This will enable the entire IT ecosystem in the country to flourish and grow at dynamic pace. For the year 2019, we are optimistic that this year, the union budget will focus more on Digital India initiative in order to shape the IT infrastructure and increase adoption of technology to encourage digitization. Last year, the budget did not really see any major inclusions for the IT sector. We also, feel that slashing of corporate taxes will help the larger companies and help Indian entities to compete globally and attract more investment to the country.In addition to this, it would be great to see the budget focusing on lowering the personal income tax slabs, and tax saving schemes which would lead to higher disposable income and directly benefit the normal taxpayer. IT Product companies, unlike services companies, have unique requirements hence the government has to support product companies and offer incentives to boost innovation, providing a level playing field.s that we hope the interim Budget 2019 addresses.
Suresh Garg, CMD, Nirala World– Huge gap of affordable housing can be bridged only thorough availability of affordable housing and for this, construction cost should be as low as it could be! Lowering GST on under construction homes from 12% to 5% is huge relief for home buyers but it will not serve its true purpose if govt. could not continue input tax credit. With high tax on raw materials and without input tax credit, developers will be unable to construct affordable units, control rates and pass the benefit. Budget 2019 will surely think of rising interest subsidy and unit size under PMAY to reach up to mass. Like MIG, LIG also needs slabs to cater end users and achieve housing for all 2022. Funds for housing sector is still tough and available at high rates. After RERA, Govt. should think of easy funding be it NBFC, REIT or stress fund to meet stuck projects. On the same tax incentive for home loan borrowers will boost sector overall.
Vipul Singh, CEO and Co-founder, Aarav Unmanned Systems– The government should have special attention on small scale manufacturing industry including startups which are making unique hardware products in India. Ministry of Civil Aviation has done a fantastic job by bring a very pragmatic drone regulation and has gone further to even put down a 10 year roadmap for the Industry. Since the drone Industry in India is very small and mostly run by very small startups, govt. should announce Special Drone VC fund, R&D grants, tax exemptions, export benefits and infrastructure development grants for startups and SMEs to help the domestic industry grow faster than the global counterparts and serve not only the domestic market but the global market.
RK Arora , Chairman, Supertech– The Indian real estate sector is one of the most important for the economy, contributing as much as 6-7 per cent to the GDP in 2017 and is expected to contribute about 13 per cent by 2025. The government has been focussing much on the sector over the past few years to ensure that the target of housing for al by 2022, India’s 75th anniversary as an independent country. However, much needs to be done. While GST reduced the multiple taxes and complexities in real estate transactions, the stamp duty remains. This must be removed as is the case for most other industries. Another request we have is that the real estate sector be given industry status. The growth of the rea estate sector is one that has a ripple effect on many other ancillary industries. The sector was one of the worst hit after demonetisation and has only just started to recover. The change in status make it easier for developers to raise funds at lower rates. The cost of capital is a major problem at this time and a reduced cost of capital would impact overall project costs and costs to buyers. We also hope that the government reduce the GST rate applicable to housing as that would be the ideal boost that is much needed by the industry.
Rajesh Goyal, MD, RG Group– Coming up with the status of Industry for the real estate sector is highly banked on with the Union Budget 2019-20. This step will not only help in approaching finance at a much lowered rate, but also reduce the cost of the projects bringing about a boost in the realty market. Moreover to procure more investment in the housing sector, the scope of Section 54 to be expanded and the capital gains tax exemption should be specified.
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