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Budget Helped Consolidate India’s Growth Agenda

The budget introduced measures to strengthen the socio-economic indicators for the nation’s continued progress.

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The interim budget presented by the Government of India has provided a holistic outlook and comprehensive coverage to optimize growth, while addressing inclusive and sustainable development. There is much to celebrate in what the country has achieved in the last one year. The measures announced to aid digital inclusion, provide comprehensive healthcare and wellness systems, increase consumer spending and strengthen India’s entrepreneurial spirit and the opportunities, thereof, are commendable. The Budget proposal to support farmers and increase spends in the agriculture sector, which is the backbone of the Indian economy, should further strengthen the growth story of the Indian economy.

Increased Consumer Spending

The budget has announced a slew of proposals for the individuals including full tax rebate on taxable annual income of up to INR 5 lakh, increase in the standard deduction from INR40,000 to INR50,000 and the benefit of rollover of capital gains tax made available for investment in two residential houses (For a taxpayer having capital gains up to INR 2 cores). This would increase disposable income for individuals and put more cash in the hands of the middle-class households and households in general. This will not only lead to greater savings, but also increased purchasing power, contributing directly to the revival of essential and discretionary demand-driven sectors like FMCG.

Entrepreneurial Boost and Women Development

While we are pleased to see the focus on boosting entrepreneurial capabilities and opportunities aligned with the Government’s Start-up India vision, Amway strongly believes that direct selling can play a crucial role in fueling the economic growth and in creating job opportunities. It is encouraging to see that the budget has highlighted the importance of youth in the country as job creators and not merely job seekers.

Combined with the country’s tremendous push to the much-needed women development, the direct selling industry offers immense potential for women and the youth to grow and succeed as business owners. With the direct selling industry poised to touch INR 65,000 crores by 2025, we hope to see renewed focus on and push to the direct selling industry in the near term, to truly realize this industry’s potential to contribute extensively to the country’s growth and development.

Healthcare and Wellness

It is heartening to see the Indian Government’s relentless focus on healthcare and wellness. Nutrition and wellness is an important focus for Amway India and we are pleased to see this budget’s focus on creating a comprehensive wellness system to empower Indians to lead healthier lives.

Digitization Push

We are also pleased with the Government’s sustained focus on leveraging digital technologies to drive long term impact on both - the economy and its citizens. India, as a country is moving towards a new ear of digital economy with the Government targeting to create 1 lakh digital villages in the next 5 years. This will help India leapfrog to the fourth industrial revolution and prepare the country for the next wave of growth and development. Further, this enhanced focus on digitalization would open up possibilities for consumer sectors to reach larger masses more effectively and economically.

Businesses & Business Owners

MSMEs are an important growth driver for the Indian economy and the Government’s proposal of 2% subvention on the interest on a loan of up to INR 1 crore for GST registered MSMEs is a welcome move. The additional tax benefits such as tax rebate and a simplified tax structure to strengthen small traders and small business owners are laudable.

The GST proposals highlighted in the budget viz. composition scheme for businesses, quarterly return filing for 90% of GST payers, truly exemplifies the Government’s efforts to encourage business owners. Transformational reforms such as the GST and demonetization would not have been possible without the creation of progressive institutions such as FSSAI, Niti Ayog, and DIPP and the strong leadership they exhibited in implementing them amidst challenges. The public-private partnerships forged by these institutions will serve to be a powerful enabler in maximizing the impact of social, economic and financial inclusion in the country. 

However, in line with the neighbouring economies, we were hoping for a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 30% to 25% for companies exceeding INR250 crores in turnover.  We are also looking forward to the Government to form a mechanism for appropriately recognizing and accrediting honest taxpayers, with a view to encourage and inculcate tax compliance.

Overall, the budget helped consolidate India’s growth agenda and introduced measures to strengthen the socio-economic indicators for the nation’s continued progress.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Union budget 2019

Anshu Budhraja

Anshu Budhraja is the CEO of Amway, India.

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