Budget 2024 Expectations from Business Leaders | #2

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Here are some of the thoughts shared by healthcare, finance and real estate business leaders on Budget 2024.

Monsoon session of the parliament is all set to begin on July 22, 2024 and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is all set to present budget 2024 on July 23 or 24, according to media reports. Business leaders are continuing to share expectations with Thought Habitat. On that note, here are some of the thoughts shared by healthcare, finance and real estate business leaders.

Rajat Goel Co-founder & CEO of Eye-Q Super Speciality Eye Hospitals

At Eye-Q, we have time and again pressed for a well-rounded budget that would help the eye care sector address the critical needs of our population. With 62 million visually impaired persons and 8 million blind people, India bears approximately a quarter of the world’s burden of blindness and vision impairment. As a leading eye care hospital chain, we eagerly anticipate the upcoming Budget 2024-25, hoping for transformative policies that tackle these pressing issues. We strongly advocate for large-scale door-to-door eye screening initiatives, which are essential for early detection and treatment.

Additionally, the backlog of eye surgeries, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, urgently requires resolution, particularly in rural areas where access to healthcare remains limited. We also look forward to an infrastructure boost that will enhance the capacity of eye care facilities nationwide.

Furthermore, support for research and development is crucial to advancing innovative treatments and technologies in eye care. Importantly, lowering GST and other import taxes on medical equipment and supplies would significantly reduce costs, making eye care more accessible and affordable. With these measures, we believe the budget can pave the way for a brighter, clearer future for millions of individuals, ensuring that quality eye care is within reach for all.

V Balasubramanian, CEO, Financial Software and Systems 

Keeping in mind the government’s vision of Viksit Bharat, with India expected to become a developed country by 2047, Indian payment systems will play a big role in the years to come, not only in India but globally as well. And banks will be central to the growth of this ecosystem. The government should look at charging digital payments like UPI which will allow banks to build robust payment infrastructure & security standards enabling fast, simple & secure payments while protecting the end consumers against frauds & cyber security threats.  

Apart from this, the government should also focus on building a payment platform in cloud for banks. This is where cloud technology can play a major role in empowering banks to be more agile, cost-effective and collaborative in their endeavours to make digital payments safe and secure.

Sandeep Ahuja, CEO, Atmosphere living

The real estate sector plays a significant role in the nation’s economic growth. The real estate luxury sector is growing through leaps and bounds, however a certain change, and policies can help to ensure sustainable growth, streamline regulatory process and give it a robust boast. Government can ease foreign direct investment in the luxury real estate sector which ultimately would led an increase in interest from international investors to create a space for a funding ecosystem that fuels growth and innovation. The GST rates on building supplies and services should also be rationalized, as this will lower development costs overall and promote greater investment in new projects. Extending incentives for affordable housing is another important goal.

Even if the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) has given momentum, more improvements and a later deadline could guarantee sustained progress. For, all metro cities government can look into possibility of relaxation in floor space index (FSI) norms. This anticipation stems from the industry’s call for regulatory measures that could pave the way for more expansive luxury apartment offerings in Mumbai. Therefore, the sector hopes that the upcoming budget show transformative measures that will invigorate the Indian real estate sector.

Rohan Bhargava, Co-founder, CashKaro

We are closely watching the discussions around income tax reforms in the upcoming budget. The current tax rate for earnings above ₹15 lakh stands at 30%, which is quite steep. The significant jump in tax rates from ₹3 lakh to ₹15 lakh highlights the need for a more gradual increase. Raising the income threshold before any tax is levied from ₹3 lakh to ₹5 lakh would provide individuals, especially those in the lower earning bracket, with more disposable income. This change would boost consumption, increase savings for the middle class, and provide positive momentum for the e-commerce industry.

From an entrepreneurial perspective, the upcoming end of the Startup India Seed Fund scheme in 2025 highlights the need for a new initiative to continue supporting the growth of the startup sector. Startups are also calling for the complete removal of angel tax regulations to foster a more conducive investment environment. Furthermore, AI-related regulations should be addressed at the earliest to ensure that as a country, we don’t hit bottlenecks in innovation and growth. Startups prefer self-regulation over stringent guidelines, which can stifle creativity and rapid development in this crucial sector.

Pro-MSME policies are also vital. Simplifying the regulatory framework, providing tax benefits, and creating infrastructure for logistics and digital payments are necessary steps. Overall, keeping operational costs low for MSMEs through such measures will support their sustainability and growth.
At CashKaro, our mission is to improve the purchasing power of consumers through attractive cashbacks and discounts. By doing so, we not only benefit consumers but also help brands reach a wider audience, creating a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Gaurav Malhotra, Managing Director, hansgrohe India

Ahead of the budget, we are optimistic about the positive measures that will bolster the luxury real estate sector and enhance the overall market dynamics. This aligns with the growing aspirations towards a luxury lifestyle, where consumers seek high-quality, sophisticated home interior solutions.

We urge the government to put a rationalization on GST and reduce home loan interest to stimulate demand and growth for the luxury real estate sector. Additionally, we hope to see initiatives aimed at boosting local manufacturing capacity that can further strengthen the make-in-India initiative and also increase the availability of world-class products in the domestic market.

These strategic reforms will collectively contribute to the growth of our industry and enable us to continue delivering innovative solutions that can meet the high standards of luxury and cater to the individuals who are aspiring to live a luxury lifestyle.

Dr Narendra Vankar, CEO & Founder, Quantum CorpHealth

Following India’s interim budget layout in February, the upcoming budget is expected to maintain that framework, providing sufficient attention and funding support for all elements of the healthcare ecosystem. The quality of care delivery is at the core of the industry and interlinks aspects like nutrition, sanitation, and elder care. Shifting towards a preventative healthcare approach is crucial to ensure the affordability and accessibility of healthcare. Aligning with the changing nature of health promotes a sustainable future for all Indians. Investing in features like telehealth, remote medical care, and solid medical databases can remove obstacles and make sure that healthcare can be given to all Indians, especially the rural and underserved population.

The government of India has already been focusing on bringing healthcare to all Indians through schemes like Ayushman Bharat which offers free healthcare to the underprivileged. It is important now to move into a space where all citizens are able to access the same consideration and benefits instead of relying on private insurance. With good quality and swift medical care, we can ensure that all citizens are receiving what they deserve. The priority of the Indian citizen is shifting, especially as they become more health-conscious, and having accessible and affordable healthcare is the need of the hour for Budget 2024.

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