There are lots of positives in the 2021 budget announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, say many corporates… compiled by Ericka Sequeira
Kamal Khetan, Chairperson & Managing Director, Sunteck Realty Ltd: The Union budget has packed some great ideas and a definite direction for strong economic growth ahead, especially through infrastructure, capital expansion and banking and financial services. For real estate, the move to extend the tax holiday available for the purchase of affordable houses as well as for the affordable rental housing projects is a welcoming move as it would further strengthen the confidence among both developers and home buyers. The move will certainly prompt more demand, especially among first-time buyers who generally fall in the lower and mid-income segments. Also, the extension of the tax holiday on affordable housing projects for developers by another year will increase the project launches in this segment as they would get additional time and resources. Apart from this, the mega infrastructure development and up-gradation to be undertaken across India will add much value to the real estate sector.
Harish Manian, CEO, MGM Healthcare: We are delighted to note that the budget session was introduced with the announcement of increase in the healthcare budget by 137%. The government’s holistic approach to healthcare will help in creating awareness on preventive healthcare. Post-pandemic Learning from the recent pandemic, the move to establish more number of critical care blocks in Hospitals and strengthening of primary, secondary and tertiary care is a much need move by the government. The launch of Mission Poshan 2.0 is a commendable move to prevent over 50,000 child deaths annually. Coupled with initiatives like clean water, clean air and clean environment, it will act as a binding force to achieve a universal health coverage. Detection of new and emerging diseases like COVID have been given the right impetus and will encourage all-round development and preparedness towards a progressive and safe future.
Preethaa Ganesh, Vice President, Vels Group of Institutions The announcement made in the Union Budget to streamline the implementation of New Education Policy 2020 and the introduction of legislation for setting-up of Higher Education Commission of India showcases the government’s commitment to facilitate a better quality of education and the will to create learning opportunities for aspirational India. As a dedicated educational institute, we support the initiatives to create robust infrastructure facilities for our tribal student community by increasing the unit cost of each school. The government’s move to promote enhanced academic collaboration with foreign higher educational institutions will benefit the education system and result in widened scope of opportunities for students.
Dr Mona Lisa Bal, Chairperson, KiiT International School: Budget 2021-22 is significant as it is expected to revive the economy after the COVID-19 crisis. Education for All was one of the prime focal areas and overall, the announcements made for the sector were positive. The industry was expecting allocations on the implementation of NEP 2020 which has been met to an extent. Emphasis on strengthening the quality of education in schools will benefit students by cementing their primary education and promote growth and knowledge. Setting up of new Sainik schools and Eklavya model residential schools, especially in the remotest parts of the country will further bolster educational development. Up-skilling of the youth has become extremely vital in the present scenario. Setting up of the National Digital Educational Architecture (NDEAR) Development is a firm stepping stone towards a digital transformation to take the country to newer heights. Up-skilling of teachers and training under National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers for Holistic Advancement (NISTHA) will be beneficial to the students and the sector at large. Focus on holistic education, moving away from rote learning to strengthen analytical, conceptual skills of students will foster critical thinking among them which will help in their overall development and learning. It is good to see the budget focus on the needs of the special children, especially the ones with hearing impairment through standardization of Indian wign language across the country and development of National and State Curriculum materials for use.
Rishi Chandiok, Regional Director (South Asia) QNET Ltd. The budget announced today is in line with the expectations and rightly focuses on the health and wellbeing of the nation recovering from the pandemic. We believe that the policy reforms announced by the Finance Minister will help boost the economy. Steps taken towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat, local manufacturing, employment generation, will help boost economic activity. We also appreciate the Government’s vision to announce a new centrally sponsored scheme, PM Aatmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana which will be launched with an outlay of about 64,180 crores over 6 years. Aatmanirbhar Bharat is a viewpoint of 130 crores Indians who have full assurance in their capabilities and skills. As a leading direct selling company, we believe that the entrepreneurship has always been in our country’s DNA. The recently announced “Vocal for Local” initiative that encourages local businesses and products to strive for international standards of quality and service, will further boost the entrepreneurial spirit among the young and upcoming entrepreneurs.
Rajesh Sharma, Managing Director, Capri Global Capital Ltd: The budget has clearly kept the focus on boosting economic growth. Emphasizing to make India self-reliant and strengthen the country’s position in the global economic landscape, the honorable FM has given systematic importance to the NBFC sector through a slew of measures that will ease the lending business. The reduction in the loan limit from Rs5 million to Rs2 million under the SARFAESI act for NBFCs, with a minimum asset size of Rs100cr and above, would mean that the debt recovery can enforce the security interest for lower ticket size loans. This will help the NBFCs to improve their ability to recover smaller loans and strengthen the overall financial health. Allotment of Rs20,000 crore for bank recapitalization and setting up an ARC to take care of NPAs of stressed banks and manage through alternative investment funds would securitize the irrecoverable loans. Extend the eligibility of erstwhile tax sop on a home loan by additional one year up to FY’22 is a welcoming support to de-bottleneck issues surrounding the affordable housing segment.
Randhir Chauhan, Managing Director, Netafim India and Senior Vice President, Netafim Ltd: The Union budget clearly highlights the government’s continued focus to modernize the Agri sector. We welcome the announcement of additional allocation of Rs 5,000 crore to the Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) under NABARD which now totals Rs10,000 crore. This is in line with the government’s vision of ‘per drop more crop’, and will help move closer to the target of micro irrigation coverage across Rs1 crore ha in five years, across the country. In order to improve the fund utilization, we request policymakers to remove the condition of disbursement (which is only against additional subsidy) and consider to make it available for the mandatory state share as well. The additional fund could keep the momentum up in states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka which are already in favour of the scheme, help restart in states like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and bring newer states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, etc. under its gamut.