Budget aims to boost growth with big ticket expenditure

The government says the Union Budget 2022-2023 presented by the Finance Minister will change the scale of India's economy. The industry A-listers seem to concur.

02 Feb 2022 | By Charmiane Alexander

Monica Malhotra Kandhari, the managing director of the MBD group welcomed the budget. She said, "It has taken care of the much-needed initiatives for the education sector which has been reeling through a rough phase due to the pandemic-led disruption." She added, "The announcement of one TV channel' program of PM eVIDYA which will be expanded from 12 to 200 TV channels will enable all states to provide supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1 to 12." Monica Malhotra Kandhari added, "The proposed launch of the Digital DESH e-portal will immensely help in the skilling, upskilling and reskilling of our youth which is indispensable at this hour."

Rajesh Bhatia, the CFO of UFlex gave a ranking of 8 out of 10 for the Budget. Bhatia said, "The budget is encouraging for organisations like ours that have always been at the forefront to highlight Indian talent and generate growth for the economy from international markets through our businesses and manufacturing plants abroad." He added, "By incentivising exports, India is enabling expansion in the export sector and promoting locally produced and sourced components which is a positive step forward."

Meanwhile, Rajesh Khosla, the president and CEO of AGI Glaspac said, "It is a growth-oriented budget with a special focus on boosting the manufacturing sector." He pointed out that "concessional corporate tax for newly incorporated manufacturing companies is a positive move towards promoting the Make in India initiative as this will encourage new manufacturing industries as well as increase private investment in this industry. The PLI Scheme(Production Linked Incentive scheme) in 14 sectors with the aim of creating six million jobs can be predicted to improve the performance of the manufacturing industries in the country by 4x in the next four quarters."

V Ashok, Group CFO of ACG concurred that the Union Budget for 2022-23 will "continue to accelerate economic growth through higher capital investment and lower inflation." He said, "Tax rates remaining unchanged despite likely challenges in fiscal targets is a very positive move to drive consumption and money in the hands of consumers." Ashok pointed out that "January's GST collection is an indicator of buoyancy in economic growth."

Speaking about the pharma sector, Ashok said, "we were expecting higher budget allocation due to the after-effects of the pandemic." He felt, since India is the pharma capital of the world, it looks forward to greater support apart from PLI incentives announced.

Neeraj Jain, the CFO of Cosmo Films said, "The budget demonstrates the commitment by the government to strengthen infrastructure and employment creation." He stated, "An increase in Capex expenditure to 7.5 lakhs cr from Rs 5.54 lakhs will boost economic growth and is very positive. Target fiscal deficit for FY 22-23 at 6.4% of GDP is also aligned with the larger goal of economic growth without much impacting the financials." Jain mentioned that he is "looking forward to new legislation on SEZ units to simplify the SEZ operations."

Meanwhile the FM announced "a completely paperless, e-bill system which will be launched by ministries for procurement". This move, she said, will enhance transparency and reduce delays in payments. Some print industry players mentioned, "This was on expected lines; and is one more jolt to the print industry."

Another change in the Budget was about paper mills. This is the basic customs duty on import of waste paper which has been increased by 0% (actual user condition) to 2.5% (actual user condition).

Kuldeep Malhotra, deputy managing director, sales and OP marketing division, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, said, “The last two years have accelerated digital adoption across industries, making technology a necessity for organisations to survive and thrive in the evolving digital-first world. We, at Konica Minolta, appreciate the step the government has taken towards the technology up-gradation and digitisation for manual processes in this union budget. The budget has focused on the key element that is productivity enhancement. We truly believe that the collaborative efforts of central and state governments to generate more entrepreneurial opportunities will help our customers as well to be a part of the digital ecosystem where they can reskill themselves and be a part of digitalisation."