Consolidated India’s Growth Agenda
Amway strongly believes that direct selling can play a crucial role in fuelling economic growth and in creating job opportunities
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The interim Budget presented by the Indian government on February 1 has provided a holistic outlook and comprehensive coverage to optimise 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 interim Budget has a slew of proposals for individuals, including full tax rebate on taxable annual income of up to Rs 5 lakh, increase in the standard deduction from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 and the benefit of roll over of capital gains tax made available for investment in two residential houses (for a tax payer with capital gains of up to Rs 2 crore). This will increase disposable income for individuals and put more cash in the hands of middle-class households and households in general. It 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 fast moving consumer goods (FMCG).
Boost to entrepreneurship
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 fuelling 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’s 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 Rs 65,000 crore by 2025, we hope to see renewed focus on and push to the direct selling industry in the near term, to truly realise 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.
Push to digitisation
We are also pleased with the government’s sustained focus on leveraging digital technologies to drive the long-term impact on both the economy and its citizens. India as a country, is moving towards a new era of digital economy with the government targeting to create a lakh digital villages in the next five years. This will help India leap frog to the fourth industrial revolution and prepare the country for the next wave of growth and development. Further, this enhanced focus on digitalisation would open up possibilities for consumer sectors to reach larger masses more effectively and economically.
Businesses & business owners
Medium and small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are an important growth driver for the Indian economy and the government’s proposal for two per cent subvention on the interest on a loan of up to Rs 1 crore for GST registered MSMEs is a welcome move. 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 and quarterly return filing for 90 per cent of GST payers, truly exemplifies the government’s efforts to encourage business owners. Transformational reforms such as the GST and demonetisation 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 as a powerful enabler in maximising 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 per cent to 25 per cent for companies exceeding Rs 250 crore in turnover. We are also looking forward to the government to form a mechanism for appropriately recognising and accrediting honest tax payers, 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.
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