2022 is seen as a year of hope as the pandemic was earlier estimated to come to an end. However, with the ongoing Omicron wave, we still have a long way to go. In between all these, Budget Session for the Financial Year 2022-2023 is all set to take place in February.
With nearly one month to go, the pressure is high on the Finance Minister of India. Already, criticism is mounting on her for the rising NPA levels, and the sporadic job loss situation in the country. In addition to this, 5 states in India are going polls in February 2022. Therefore, this budget is going to be a closely watched one.
Thought Habitat spoke with some business leaders who revealed their expectations on the budget. Last year, we presented a series of posts which recorded Budget reactions from some of the leading business leaders in the country.
Similarly, this year, we are going a step ahead and presenting a series of Budget Expectations from business leaders across India. These business leaders are from different industries and they have different expectations. Like last year, we will be publishing a series of posts covering business leaders from different cities too.
Let us see, what are their budget expectations
Ashish Khandelwal, Managing Director, BL Agro Ltd
The manufacturing industry has always been a sensitive one, balancing the operating costs and the profitability. Any new strategic investment gets burdened in ensuring the ROI. It would be of immense benefit if the government incentivize and encourage investments in manufacturing and drive local manufacturing sector in line with the Make in India push.
Tax benefits for manufacturers on meeting set goals for productivity, green index, health and safety standards etc. would also help to increase technology adoption. Similarly in line with the National Nutrition Mission, FMCG companies manufacturing nutrition rich food products should also be extended incentives and priority benefits. Also, there should be a reduction in GST rate on items such as ghee, butter, dry fruits, to increase the rural consumption as they form a major market.
Vasanth Kamath, Founder & CEO, smallcase
The number of new demat accounts opened has more than doubled in 3 years. From 3.5 crore at the end of 2018-19 to 5.5 crore and 7.3 crore in 2020-21 & Oct 2021 respectively. This is a heartening trend given the severe under penetration of equity assets held by Indians compared to global benchmarks. However, as an ecosystem, these new investors need to be encouraged to demonstrate the right behaviour for an asset class like equity.
I would love to see the introduction of a scheme like the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS was discontinued from Union Budget 2017) that enables first time investors to save taxes while investing in a specific universe of stocks. This would incentivize investors to remain invested in a portfolio of relatively less volatile stocks for the longer term, helping them witness the sustained benefits of equity & compounding.
We have more business leaders and startup entrepreneurs sharing their thoughts on the same in the coming days. Keep watching this space for more.