Kolkata, Feb 1 Leading industrialists in the city have expressed mixed reaction to the proposals in the union budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today.
Hemant Kanoria, managing director of Srei Infrastructure Finance said that the budget tried to cover all people as the government has announced a series of measures for the health sector as well as some steps for the poor.
He said investments has been announced in the road sector and also capital expenditure in the railways.
From the corporate sector perspective the budget was not exciting, he said.
The introduction of long term capital gains tax was disappointing and no PPP projects in the infrastructure sector were not announced.
For the salaried class, the budget was a big disappointment as people were expecting some changes in the income tax rates, but a only a standard deduction of Rs 40,000 was proposed for transport and medical reimbursement.
Chairman of Ambuja Neotia group, H Neotia said it was good budget and focussed on the rural sector, health and the MSMEs which was most needed.
the budget as a "landmark document".
"It is a complete budget trying to reflect the values and aspirations of the people of India. His (Jaitley's) budget is also a reflection of the NDA government’s resolve to be inclusive.
"A sharp focus on health sector, agriculture, on food processing, providing electricity connections to everyone. The accent on fabric and resolve to create a social security - the system is brilliant," he said.
CII eastern region past chairman Dipankar Chatterjee said Jaitley did well in addressing widespread problems of farmers and the budget balanced short and long-term needs for agri sector.
But corporates had expected something when capital formation is not healthy according to the economic review, he added.
Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry said as a chamber they were disappointed but overall the budget was satisfactory with the push to the rural economy.
Medica group of Hospitals chairman Alok Roy said for the first time in decades the Centre in its budget has shown serious commitment towards improvement in healthcare.
"As mentioned in the budget the health insurance scheme would cover 10 crore families with Rs five lakh insurance coverage. This would not only provide good healthcare but also stimulate growth of hospitals in the country," he said.
Ortel Communications managing director Jagi Mangat Panda said though there was no direct benefit for corporates in the union budget except for tax breaks for SMEs, it will have a ripple effect on the corporates.
Bharat Chamber of Commerce president Sitaram Sharma said, "The union budget 2018-19 is on expected lines and with the elections round the corner it has tried to address various development issues concerning agriculture and farmers’ welfare, infrastructure and employment generation."
Kuldip Maity, managing director and chief executive officer of Village Financial Services, a leading MFI, said "There are certainly some huge disappointments in the union budget for 2018. Microfinance institutions were looking for some respite in the form of reduction in GST rates and incentives for lending to the underserved population."
The MFI sector had also expected that the finance minister would consider slashing the capital adequacy ratio for NBFC-MFIs. "But there is nothing for the MFI industry to be cheerful about except applauding the budget's focus on rural and social sectors," he added.
Sanjay Jain, the managing director of real estate developer Siddha Group said the proposed budget expenses in various sectors like rural infrastructure, health and fishing will have a positive impact on the economy.
"This will allow optimism about the real estate market and we look forward to a productive year," he added.
approach to address critical sectors including agriculture, food processing, infrastructure, healthcare and human capital, which follows a slew of transformative reforms like GST undertaken earlier will go a long way in fostering inclusive growth and strengthening the competitiveness of the Indian economy.
The larger allocation to food processing and creation of food parks will also help in adding value to agriculture, reducing agri-wastages and creating large-scale livelihoods.
The thrust on rural development will fuel consumption demand, enable an uptake in private investment, creating a virtuous circle of demand-consumption-investment led GDP growth, he said.
Chairman and managing director of TIL, Sumit Mazumdar said the budget was balanced overall with high emphasis on social sector spending.
He said various measures had been included in the budget to boost the rural sector, the agri economy and financially backward sections.
Emami Group director Aditya Agarwal said in order to maintain the socio-economic balance of a country it is very important to bring up the quality of life and the income of the lower and middle class. "The budget is in the right direction to bridge this gap."
The four pillars of a nation’s development - infrastructure, education, healthcare and rural economy are the major beneficiaries from this budget, signalling more job creation and spending power in the hands of the people.
Shaswat Goenka, who heads the retail business of RP-Sanjiv Goenka group, said the budget is pro-agriculture and pro-development with a strong focus on social sector spending.
The MSME sector had been given the much-needed importance in the budget, he said.
Tata Steel managing director and chief executive officer T V Narendran said the budget is both balanced and positive.
Higher spending on infrastructure with a focus on airport capacity expansion and transportation, specially de-bottlenecking of the railways, will definitely boost steel demand as will the focus on affordable housing, he said.
"We also believe that the spending on infrastructure will help reduce the cost of doing business as it will drive greater efficiencies in logistics”.
"Focus on rural infrastructure, agricultural output and farmer income will help reduce the agrarian distress and boost the rural economy. Emphasis on health, education and employment generation would promote inclusive growth," he added.