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Union Budget 2019-20 Overview: Onwards Ho!

While there are sectoral stories — on macro economy, rural distress, NBFCs, real estate, we also carry an industry survey where industry leaders voice their approvals or concerns on key issues

Photo Credit : Himanshu Kumar

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The $5-trillion economy goal that the Union Budget has envisaged requires faster growth than what we have witnessed in the last five years.

Of course, the FM said the Budget has been presented keeping the next ten years in mind. But there are challenges. And we say, the time to action on the vision statement is now.

The rate of growth of the economy for the latest quarter is 5.8 per cent. And it is slowing further. So if the economy slows down further, then towards the end of 5 years the rate of growth would have to be over 10 per cent per annum to achieve this goal.

One big contribution has to come from the private sector. And post this Budget, the private sector feels is forced to raise the question – whether the glass is full or empty. Yes, India Inc was lauded as “wealth creators” and “job creators” in the Budget speech, but they clearly want more. Some tinkering with corporate taxes has been done – could more have been done?

Private investments are not picking up. There is a demand slowdown. And, yes, some policy uncertainty too.

Among other job thrust areas in the Budget, there is an attempt to create agri-entrepreneurs. There was a welcome acknowledgement of Industrialization 4.0 -- Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, 3-D printing etc.

As reactions have shown, there could have been a greater thrust on the real estate and construction.

On the banking sector reforms, distancing the banks from the political system is critical.  In the case of NBFC’s assigning the regulatory task to the RBI is important.  But much needs to be done to improve governance.

Could we have undertaken banking reforms, and announced clear roadmap for phasing out complex labour laws, reforming the tax system to broaden the base and reduce the rate and evolve a simple tax system?

In the following pages, we discuss all these and much more.

We also include columns from industry leaders.

While there are sectoral stories — on macro economy, rural distress, NBFCs, real estate, we also carry an industry survey where industry leaders voice their approvals or concerns on key issues


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