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Budget 2015: Corporate Reactions

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Finance

Promoting Savings And Investments
"This has been one of the best budgets in the recent past. Keeping in mind fiscal and other constraints it has done whatever a budget can do to promote savings , investment, and hence growth. Fiscal deficit for 2014-15 have been maintained at 4.1 per cent of GDP and for even 15 – 16, it has been kept at 3.9 per cent only slightly higher than the 3.6 per cent of the GDP which had been thought of. The FM has promised to bring down the deficit to 3 per cent in three year time. Current account deficit for the current year is expected to be below 1.3 per cent of the GDP, but for this the FM has to thank reduced oil and other commodity prices."
Rahul Bajaj, Past President, CII and Chairman, Bajaj Auto Ltd

Encouraging Financial Inclusion
"This year, the Government has taken upon itself to safeguard the interest of the underprivileged and the aged. For the underprivileged, it has promised to provide accidental cover of Rs. 2 lakh for just Rs. 12 per year and, for people between the age group 18-50, it promised to cover natural and accidental death risk of Rs. 2 lakhs for just Rs. 330 per year. Adding to this, various pension schemes have been announced in order to assure income to the aging population. With these schemes, Arun Jaitley has ensured that the Indian populace is not only adequately insured against unforeseen circumstances but also has enough corpus to enjoy life after retirement"
Miranjit Mukherjee, Chief Financial Officer, Tata AIG General Insurance Company Limited

A Balanced Budget
“The Finance Minister had huge expectations to meet in this Make in India budget. It looks quite balanced and progressive in approach. The budget promises to put a well thought of blueprint for development in the coming years. It encompasses inclusive growth model, as promised by the Government, which is a welcome step. With this budget, we can expect gradual rise in GDP, especially by controlling physical deficit and CAD. I am glad that the Budget outlines Govt’s keen focus on developing infrastructure that would encourage more foreign investment apart from laying foundation for a long term growth."
Dr Raghupati Singhania, Chairman and Managing Director, JK Tyre & Industries Ltd


Colourful Budget
"The Finance Minister has unveiled a budget that fills in the colour within the outlines of the priorities articulated by the government over the past nine months. A more focussed articulation of the plans with regard to urban housing and infrastructure would have been welcome. The 'smart city' initiative announced in the last budget could have been followed up with specifics. The extension of SARFESI to NBFCs will place them on par with banks, in line with the RBI's recent regulatory efforts in that direction. The same logic suggests that SARFAESI should have been extended to Housing Finance Companies."
Anil Kothuri, President, Edelweiss Housing Finance Limited

Challenge Lies In Execution
"The Government has committed to increasing access of the people to the formal financial system by utilizing the Postal network. Projects of similar nature have been attempted before and the main challenge lies in the details of execution of such projects. Proper training of the postal department, hand holding and project management will be the key to the success of the proposed Payment Bank venture especially in rural India. The FM’s focus on moving towards Jan Suraksha seems to be a good move as social security is a very important aspect for rural India as well as for the urban poor. The announcement regarding the introduction of the new insurance and pension schemes for the poor is a promising step towards bringing the rural and the urban poor into the formal pension and insurance net. However, the mechanism to implement this needs to be clear and a focused effort has to be made towards implementation."
Abhishek Pandit, Director, Business Services, AISECT

Boosting India
“We are delighted with the Union Budget 2015 which emphasises on education, pensions, job creation, infrastructure and creating an entrepreneurial culture in the IT sector. The GST will put in place indirect tax system by next financial year while also bringing greater transparency and tax inflows. The other good news is the decision to reduce corporate tax over next four years. These are crucial moves to improve ease of doing business and we welcome them. The threshold for transfer pricing has been increased to Rs. 20 crore. If this is coupled with simpler and clearer overall transfer pricing, investment will receive a boost and increase investor confidence. If the definitions of royalty are aligned with international practices, the country’s software sector will be at par with the global norms and standards.”
LC Singh, Vice Chairman & CEO, Nihilent

IT


Progressive Budget
“Continuing on the direction set last year, this is an excellent budget focusing on the outcomes and not just the outlays- aligned with the flagship programs, namely Make in India, Digital India, Skill India and Swach Bharat. Technology is going to be a critical enabler whether it is for making GST operational; direct benefit transfers and cashless transactions; e-Biz portal or enabling booking of unreserved railway ticket through mobile phones for the masses. However, to ensure wider adoption of technology, it must be safe and secure to foster end-to-end trust. Overall, a pragmatic and progressive budget, indeed.”
Sanjay Rohatgi, President, India, Symantec

Boost To Digital India
"Speedy implementation of the national fiber optic network will enable more rural communities to benefit from the ecosystem of services that can make governance more effective. The trinity of Jan Dhan – Aadhar – Mobile that the Finance Minister referred to, is indeed positive in a mobile-first, cloud-first India. The Government has also shown its commitment to skill development to equip the nation’s youth to take advantage of economic opportunities. The formation of the National Skill Mission that will consolidate efforts and outcomes and budgetary allocations to financially support youth in their skilling efforts will enable the country to benefit from its demographic dividend. The focus on job creation through the Make in India program, and providing gainful employment to India’s youth is commendable and a future oriented outlook."
Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India

Far Sighted Budget

"The FM has delivered a bold, far sighted budget that will help raise the country's profile as an investment destination. It aims to make structural changes that will help drive higher corporate investment on a sustainable basis. These include the commitment to simplification and rationalization of the taxation structure and setting a clear roadmap of reform for the next four years. However, the short term impact arising out of increase in surcharge and service tax are matter of concern. The move to encourage use of financial products and services among a larger proportion of the population as well as the efforts towards monetization of gold are great building block to build a vibrant and deep financial services sector. The government's moves to encourage fund managers to relocate to India will also drive greater integration of the India into the global financial services economy."
N Chandrasekaran, TCS CEO & MD

Positive Impact On IT
"Government’s imprint on growth, infrastructure, job creation and skill development will have a positive impact for the IT-ITES sector.  The additional outlay for IT start ups, focus on job creation for software sector, fully IT-based scholarships, and harmonizing the efforts on skill development through National Skills Mission will extend necessary funding and skill support to the sector."
Naveen Aggarwal, Partner, Tax, KPMG in India

Push To Cashless Transactions
"In continuation of the PM Jan Dhan Yojana, we believe that this is an additional positive push to promote cash-less transactions and usage of digital money. The digitization of money at lower level and the JAM trinity (Jandhan, AADHAR and Mobile Access)  will redefine and transform the economy to cashless. This will help in further alignment of the mobile wallets, cash in and cash outs and overall the mobile technology. We at Oxigen operate through Mobile, Pcs, Biometric point of sale terminals and BCs. Furthermore, our cash in/ cash out ports will further assist us in materializing the cash less dream. We are very positive on this push and support digitization at all level."
Pramod Saxena, founder and CMD, Oxigen services

Boosting IT
"Overall the budget is well structured.  The announcement regarding bridging the digital divide between the urban and rural India is a welcome move.  The announcement of allocating Rs 150 core to create world class IT hub in India under the Atal Innovation Mission is very encouraging. Skill development also got a special mention in the budget aiming the youth to be entrepreneurs rather than job seekers. This was followed by the announcement on supporting the startups. For IT sector, this announcement will for sure be a boosting one."
Altaf Halde, Managing Director, South Asia, Kaspersky Lab

Attracting More Investments
"Make in India and now ensuring employment to our youth, we have to make India the manufacturing hub of the world is a very good move announced in the budget presented by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Reduction in custom duty on raw materials and intermediaries is good for the sector. Introduction of GST from next year and delaying implementation of GAAR is positive for the business in India. The fast paced clearance for starting business in India will attract more investments to the country. The said National Skill Mission, to develop employability of youth below 25 years of age will address the existing gap of trained manpower. Introduction of a comprehensive bankruptcy code for the ease of doing business by 2015-16 is an encouraging one."
Rakesh Dugar, Chairman & Managing Director, Mitashi

Cashless Transactions To Increase
"It's a great direction that FM has taken. The whole push of direct subsidy transfer will make these new bank accounts (and rupay debit cards) very relevant. Further - the national insurance scheme will be linked to this bank account (the 1 re per month premium will come from this account) will increase the usage. What this will in turn mean is that the number of cash less transactions will increase significantly. Think about small things like paying salaries to the maids and drivers now instead of being in cash will be into bank accounts. Further, there is a big boost for the corporate sector with the tax policies and intent to reduce corporate tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent"
Nitin Gupta, Co-founder & CEO, PayU India

Disappointing Budget
"Government’s make in India initiative has been initiated to encourage the local manufacturers. But in contrast I believe the budget has been quite disappointing. Presently, the import duty is extremely high. Even we import our TVs. We were hoping for some standard operating procedures whereas the excise duty has been increased on manufacturing. I believe that to support their own initiatives and the country, they should have done much more. Furthermore, we were also hopeful on the digitization aspect. But overall, there hasn’t been much considered to materialize Make in India and Digital India initiatives."
Devita Saraf, CEO and Design Head, Vu Technologies.

Boost To E-commerce

"A sector that contributes 8 per cent to India’s GDP and 40 per cent to country’s total exports called for a higher capital ceiling to further strengthen the country’s economic growth and the allocation of 20,000 crore has given SME sector the much needed due from government. With this initiative, SMEs would finally be able to curb the biggest obstacle of lack of availability and high cost of credit. In addition to this, specifying a clear date of GST implementation is expected to give a huge boost to the e-commerce space since GST implementation will ensure single marketplace which will break tax barriers between states, bringing in a uniform tax rate across the country. Overall benefits received by the sector would be sufficient to offset to rise in service tax clause."
Brijesh Agrawal, Co- founder IndiaMart, CEO and Founder Tolexo.com

Welcome Move
"This welcome move by the FM will provide a boost to electronic payment transactions, Online and also at POS. A similar approach helped Korea to move to almost 60% cashless transactions in retail. This will help the GDP by almost 0.5-1 per centover the next few years"
Amrish Rau, MD, Citrus Pay

Some More Broader Announcements                                              
"The benefits to IT and ITES organisations following today's budget will probably emanate more from some of the broader announcements more generically applicable rather than IT sector specific reforms. Also these would tend to be more longer term gains for the sector rather than any "quick win" or windfall with immediate monetisation."
Sanjoy Sen, Doctoral Researcher, Aston Business School, UK

Promoting Technology
“The skill labour development program proposed in the Union Budget 2015, presented by Honorable Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, will provide an impetus to the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The fast paced technological advances demands high skilled labour and it has become a necessity to have skill training programmes for young India, which is the need of the hour. Additionally, it is extremely encouraging to see the government’s focus towards the start-up community in India. By implementing SETU (Self-Employment and Talent Utilisation), the government is promoting entrepreneurship driven by innovation in technology, which will take India to the next level of success.”
Pradeep Vajram, CEO, SmartPlay Technologies

Infrastructure

Major Thrust
"It is heartening that Infrastructure sector initiatives have been given a major thrust, which will both spur the domestic demand and ease the supply side constraints with an increase of investment of Rs.70,000 crore in 2015-16 over 2014-15. Setting up of 5 Ultra Mega Power Projects and announcement of similar projects for roads, rail and ports along with rural and urban housing development will also provide a fillip to the economy.  All these measures will see a boost in demand for construction materials such as steel and cement, which have witnessed subdued growth on account of sluggish global as well as domestic market conditions in the recent times."
CS Verma, Chairman, SAIL

Healthcare

Preventive Healthcare
“Given the high inflation in medical treatments in India, we think this is a step in right direction and at the right time, by Honorable Finance Minister. The increase in the tax deduction limit on the premium to Rs. 25,000 from 15,000 and Rs. 30,000 from 20,000 for senior citizens, announced by him under 80 D, clearly indicates that his focus is on preventive healthcare and building awareness on health and wellness. Health insurance is often looked upon as a secondary option to other investments because of lack of awareness and lower tax exemption. This initiative will incentivize the end customer and encourage them to set aside more money for insuring their families and their health and wellness. Also holistically, this will give a positive momentum to the health insurance industry.”
Sandeep Patel, MD & CEO, Cigna TTK Health Insurance.

Conquering Inflation
“The Union Budget 2015-16 is a breakthrough budget and sets pace for fast growth economic trajectory through a robust financial framework. We are delighted that the budget has fulfilled the wish list of the health insurance sector and delivered on our long standing demand, of increasing the tax deduction limit under section 80D. Increasing the tax deduction in health insurance premium from Rs. 15,000 to Rs 25, 000  and up to Rs 30, 000 for senior citizens will improve affordability, accessibility and awareness of health insurance. Health benefits for senior citizens will facilitate comprehensive health coverage for the elderly and aid tax rebate. The accident insurance for rural and BPL population with annual premium of Rs. 12 showcases focus on affordable healthcare provisioning. This will boost health insurance penetration which is currently under 5 per cent and mostly restricted to the urban areas, stimulate industry growth and encourage individuals to raise their health investment. We are confident that the budget will bring macroeconomic stability by conquering inflation, enable equal economic opportunity and lay a favorable roadmap for double digit economic growth.”
Somesh Chandra, Chief Operations Officer & Chief Quality Officer, Max Bupa

Defence

FDI Has Not Come
"The finance Minister has increased the budget allocation by 11 per cent to $41 bn which is positive. It would be important to study the allocation to capital procurement in the same. The FM has assured simpler procedures for setting up companies. That may help. The industry expected major reforms in defence sector in order to augment 'Make in India', procurement streamlining, job creation etc. The industry expected “infrastructure status” for the sector in order to attract tax incentives and to meeting the capital requirements. That has been a disappointment. We hope that policy and procedural support for defence will enhance throughout the year and not be limited to just the budget exercise. The biggest elephant in the room is of course enhancement of FDI from 49 per cent to 74 per cent, for real technology transfer and 'hi-tech make in India'. Not a penny of FDI has come in since the last budget in June 2014.
Amber Dubey, partner and India head of aerospace and defence at global consultancy KPMG
 
Aviation
 
Disappointing Days For Aviation
"Disappointing day for aviation. It’s as if aviation is not even a consideration. Its wrong image as a 'playground of the rich' makes it a low priority item. The beleaguered industry's long pending expectations of tax rebates on ATF, MRO, airports and general aviation have been ignored yet again. Higher Service Tax will enhance airfares. Loss of MRO revenue, jobs and taxes to Sri Lanka, ASEAN and gulf countries will continue. Positives include extension of Visa on Arrival (VoA) to 150 counties and development of heritage sites. Overall, nothing to write home about. India's troubled aviation sector will continue to struggle for another year", says Amber Dubey, partner and India head of aerospace and defence at global consultancy KPMG.
Amber Dubey, partner and India head of aerospace and defence at global consultancy KPMG

Clarity On GAAR
"We like the innovative way the FM is going about the Gold bond and gold loan credit, if this is followed through it will help bring down the current account deficit and correcting that will help the rupee in the long term. By giving clarity around GAAR, DTC and clarifying PE treatment for overseas funds, the government has taken note of all representations and had tried to address the same in right earnest and this will help improve the perception around administrative challenges of investing in India. Also if the parliament passes GST in this budget session, the government would have achieved lot of milestones around taxation policies."
Ajay Garg, Managing Director, Equirus Capital

Startups

Clarity Needed
"Govt allotted 1000 cr for startups but it has to be more clear in how this fund is going to be deployed last govt also alloted desperate fund for startups but it did not reach to its potential because of lack of understanding in govt officials how and where to deploy. If govt is focussed on startup tax when they raise investment it would help startups but there is no view on that. As US government did American Dream act giving employers to benefit when they hire new employees it will increase and help startups to hire there are no incentives specific to startups".
Krishna Lakamsani, Founder & CEO, IPay Tech India Pvt. Ltd

Utilize The Earlier Funds
"The govt seems to have spoken of another 1000 crore startup fund with no news about the previous 10000cr startup fund that was announced during the budget last year. Rather than announcing such funds, more focus needs to be given on how utilization of such funds have impacted job creation and then additional support that can be provided for the same. The proposal to reduce taxes for Tech startups from 25 per cent to 10 per cent is great news as this will really encourage tech startups in the country."
  Alan D Souza, CEO, Vavia Technologies

Bold And Assertive
“The budget by the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley is a bold and an assertive one. We are pleased to know that local businesses and budding entrepreneurs stand to make a mark globally through various schemes that will help them prosper. A number of steps have been announced to improve the ease of doing business; creation of Micro Units Development Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Bank,  with a corpus of Rs. 20,000 crore, and credit guarantee corpus of Rs. 3,000 crore is a positive step to encourage young, educated, skilled workers who aspire to become first generation entrepreneurs or expand their activities. With robust growth in the Digital India initiative announced last year, it is heartening to see that the Government wants to further expand it and increase the network connectivity to more rural areas. A progressive and investment focused budget overall from which we hope to see tremendous growth for the Indian economy.”
Anil Valluri, President, NetApp India & SAARC

Recognition To Startups
“We’re also happy with  government’s increased focus and recognition towards the Indian Start up industry. Over the last few years, the Indian Start up industry has witnessed tremendous success in providing innovative services to the nation, along with generating substantial employment opportunities. The financial allocation of Rs 1000 crore under the SETU - Self Employment & Talent Utilization program will drastically help boost the start-up ecosystem in India. The additional focus towards the strengthening of the IT infrastructure, the backbone of the Indian start up industry will accelerate the industry growth. As a young company at the intersection of health and technology we’re very pleased with the government’s focus on both these sectors and look forward to working with various stakeholders to improve healthcare access for a Digital India.” 
Shashank ND, Founder & CEO, Practo

Fostering Startup Ecosystem
"This is certainly a move in the right direction for fostering a sound startup ecosystem in our country. Any assistance from the Government would be a shot in the arm for startups & small businesses. With support towards the ‘self-employment’, being a start-up we comprehend the importance of any kind of support and when it comes from our country’s government, we truly wish to deliver the best for the country and make a difference at large! "
Toshendra Sharma, Founder & CEO, Wegilant, SINE IIT Bombay

Nurturing Young Startups
“A positive move by the government has come at the right time to encourage the Indian startups and entrepreneurs. Today India is globally the 4th largest in terms of creating startups. Young Indians are highly inspired and motivated to build companies of their own. The initiatives by the government, if implemented properly shall help to accelerate the success of the Indian start up ecosystem and also be one of the leveraging factors for growth of India as an economy. Plants need additional care before they grow into trees. The government can play a major role in nurturing the young startups before they become big.”
Bikash Barai, CEO, iViZ

Burden On SMBs
"The budget has not done enough for the start-up ecosystem. The Budget has not talked about the Rs. 10,000 crore Venture Capital Fund that it announced in a grandiose manner in the July 2014 Budget. It is not clear if the Rs 1,000 crore allotted to enable IT start-ups is part of that Rs 10,000 crore. The increase in service tax to 14 per cent is surely a burden, especially on small enterprises and start-ups. Of course, while most of it would be encompassed by the Goods and Services Tax, the Government should have announced some steps to provide relaxation to certain services with a specified threshold limit to ensure that the burden is eased initially."
Chennapa Naidu Darapaneni, Founder & CEO, MeraEvents

Auto

Visionary Budget
"It is no doubt a visionary budget with focus on long-term growth of the country. We welcome the move towards the rollout of GST next year. We are happy to see the emphasis placed on boosting infrastructure. This will go a long way in fulfilling the government's vision to make India the fastest growing large economy in the world. We welcome the reduction of Corporate Tax as well as focus on infrastructure via various schemes and investments. However, we expected more of a direct support to the auto industry which has been contributing, significantly to the GDP.The FM's focus on working towards creating a universal social security system for all Indians, specially the poor and the under-privileged is commendable. However increase in service tax is a setback for common man."
Joe King, Head, Audi India

Education

Enhancing Employability
"The budget proposals for 2015-16 are growth and investment oriented with a target towards skilled India. It envisions building India through encouragement to the young entrepreneurs and youth. Greater allocation towards education sector and skill creation can be viewed a foundation stone of long term vision of skilled India, particularly keeping in mind the current age profile of the population. The focus on minority youth in the budget is a welcome step. To incentivize the growth of young talent in India, Allocation of 1500 cr under the National Skills Mission for skill development and entrepreneurship will enhance employability of rural youth. The budget also envisages on providing assistance to the budding entrepreneurship segment as the Finance minister speaks about making India as job creator."
Rupa Manjari Ray, Assistant Professor, Economics, MDI Gurgaon

Reassuring Budget
"The budget promises to start a school assessment programme and aims to infuse new training tools and initiatives to motivate teachers. This is a step in the right direction as the lack of trained teachers is a big hurdle in improving education outcomes. As an organisation, committed to the concept of Efficacy in education, it is reassuring to hear about the greater involvement of Government on improving the quality of education and making it more learner and outcome focused."
Deepak Mehrotra, MD, Pearson India

Expanding Education
"Proposal to open 5 new AIIMS and an IIT in Karnataka is a welcome step along with giving IIT status to ISM Dhanbad which is India's one of the oldest technical institute is also a positive step towards improving quality of education. More grants for research at government institute will allow kids to pursue career in the research field as well if they are not able to make in job market. With respect to coaching sector, an increased allocation in education sector to Rs. 68,968 crore as a whole will definitely boost our prospects with expanding of education reach to more parts of the land. Increased availability of loans for higher education will also motivate aspirants to pursue engineering and medicine career without much pressure on entering job markets."
Aakash Chaudhry, Director, Aakash Educational Services Pvt, Ltd.

Emphasis On Education
"We welcome budget announcement made for education sector. Emphasis of the government on education is clear. Setting up institutes of higher education is necessary for nurturing talent. It is these talents that will fuel innovations and growth story of India. Making education loan more accessible for students is going to help children from weaker section to realise their dream. However, in today’s competitive scenario, students require help from coaching institutes like us to make it to better colleges. Government should encourage banks and other financial institutes to extend loan for coaching requirements as well. Without this, the intent of inclusive growth and equality of opportunity will be only partially achieved."
Ritesh Raushan, Co-Founder and Director, The Gate Academy

Pragmatic Budget
"The government has delivered a pragmatic budget. Reducing corporate tax rates will definitely give companies a boost and bring them closer to the Asia average of 21 per cent. However, increase in service tax will still have to be passed on, the only silver lining being more allocation to education. The government's decision to upgrade 80,000 rural secondary schools will bring education to the last tier, where it's needed most. Direct bank transfer for skill building is also a very welcome step. Overall, this is a budget that aims at reducing inefficiency and giving good momentum to genuine companies."
Sameer Bora, EVP Research & Development, Next Education India Pvt. Ltd.

Empowering Children
"The Union budget of 2015 seems to be a forward looking budget with education being one of the top priority areas for the government. The sector getting a total allocation of Rs.68,968 crore proves the importance it holds for our country. The higher budget allocation is welcome with an inclusion of almost the entire education sector ranging from Secondary Schools to Higher Education Institutions and Research centers. With the proposals of establishing institutions in different parts of the country, government aims to empower children and youth of the country with equal opportunities supported by an ease of reach. However, the budget has not really focused on creating incentives for corporates who are participating in the education space to encourage them to bring in greater investments and drive higher Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) and lower drop-out rates."
KVS Seshasai, CEO Zee Learn Ltd

Ensuring Skilled Youth
“Government’s announcement of setting up of higher education institutions, providing educational loan scheme for Higher Education and emphasis on quality education, innovation, research & development will ensure skilled youth who can bridge the demand & supply gap faced by the industry. Allocation of 1000 cr to enable startups and creation of incubation centers will aid in building an entrepreneurial ecosystem, which will encourage the youth to be job creators rather than job seekers. Since nation’s sustainable & inclusive growth depends on the opportunities provided to the youth for higher education and employment, the budget is well provisioned for ‘Acche Din’ for students and budding entrepreneurs.”
Prof Dr Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, WeSchool

Focus On Education
“I am pleased with the focus given to secondary education with the announcement of 80,000 secondary schools. For the past six years, more than 96 per cent of eligible children enter a primary school, which is the sine qua non for universal education. This increased focus on secondary education will be a tremendous effort towards decreasing the 80 per cent drop out rate. This proposal has rightly addressed the need to increase the reach and quality of higher education. With the introduction of initiatives such as the National Skills Mission, there is scope for a substantial increase in the pool of skilled youth. The Budget has set the right foundation for the next four years.”
Ninad Karpe, MD & CEO of Aptech


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