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Union Budget 2018: Experts Happy With Increased Focus On Education And Jobs

The budget has been perceived a mixed bag for the people. With a massive focus on rural economy and aiming to imporve the condition of the farmers, a 10 percent Long term capital gain tax for investors and no tax reform for salaried employees left both the categories cold faced

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Arun Jaitly finally presented his fifth and last Union Budget of his current term. The budget was even more more important considering forlorn economy, general elections to be held next year and state elections coming up in as many as eight states.

The budget has been perceived a mixed bag for the people. With a massive focus on rural economy and aiming to imporve the condition of the farmers, a 10 percent Long term capital gain tax for investors and no tax reform for salaried employees left both the categories cold faced. 

Here are what the experts in differetn sectors believe:

Harish Doraiswamy, Vice President - Qualifications, Schools & Vocational, Pearson India

The government has presented a well-balanced budget with a focus on addressing the fundamental needs of education in India. The budget rightly focuses on movement from traditional blackboards to digital boards which offer enhanced learning experience to students. We are confident that the promotion of digital platforms and use of technology will increase reach and ensure superior outcomes. The government understands the need for quality of education and setting up of higher education finance agency, integrated B.Ed programme and revitalizing infrastructure and systems' in Education by 2022 with Rs 1 Lakh crore in next 4 years, steps in right direction. Furthermore, significant budgetary allocation towards improving education infrastructure in the country augurs well for learners.

Zishaan Hayath, CEO & Co-founder,

Capitalising on digital influence for quality education is a welcome move. We sincerely believe that technology has a very important role in education and we are glad that the government aligns with it. Education is critical to the future of India and any relaxations in taxes on education and technology would have been an added benefit. Recognising the importance of teacher training is another significant step to boost quality education in the country. We eagerly await the details and plan of action from the government following the announcements.

Rahul Belwalkar, CEO, SecUR Credentials 

Focus on improving quality of education is a good move by the government; this will create more employable population. Increased focus on MUDRA means government recognizes MSME’s are going to be critical job creators making MSME’s a major engine of growth and employment. This year’s budget has seen an emphasis on the MSME sector which will definitely boost entrepreneurship and employment creation. Mr. Jaitley’s announcement of 12 percent EPF in wages towards new employees in all sectors is a good move as one can expect the job sector to rise.

Prof. Ashutosh Dash, Associate Professor, Finance, MDI Gurugram

The budget speech indicates government to focus on the rural sector to create more jobs by 2020. This will require more fund allocation towards the education sector and human resource development sector. The government should also continue creating the environment that ensures ‘Ease of Doing Business’. This will lead to more investments by the private sector and create further jobs for the students completing their formal education.

Sumit Kumar, Vice President, NETAP, TeamLease Services

SME’s are a crucial driver of economic growth and the stimulus given to them in the union budget is highly appreciable. However, for SMEs to leverage the opportunity they would need access to productive talent. The best way to generate productive talent is by adopting apprenticeship. Apart from tax incentives, incentives on apprenticeship would have really helped not only the sector but also the skill India initiative as well.  In fact, there are around 55 million SME units, even if 50 percent of them appoint 1 apprentice could scale up number of apprentices to 27 million. Supported by MSDE under NAPS, this could be the most conducive method for skilling the youth and influx of talent for the industry.

Prateek Bhargava, CEO of Mindler

The Government is coming good on its promise of putting education outcomes and skilling upfront. The allocation of Rs 1 lakh crore for improvement of education infra is one of the highlights of this budget. A medical college for every three parliamentary constituencies is a path breaking initiative and one that will give a huge boost to medicine as a career. FM’s plan to identify 1,000 B.Tech students each year and providing means to pursue PHDs in IITs and IISCs is again a great initiative to drive focus towards research and is in sync with the massive investment of almost 1 lakh crores towards education research. FM’s focus on teacher training and digital education is welcomed and was much needed! Agriculture, Research and Food related career domains have also got a huge boost with the massive fund allocation to these sectors, which shall create large number of employment opportunities in these domains. However, channelizing the right talent from school level to these career domains should be the focus area. While teacher training is explicitly mentioned in the FM’s speech, training on leveraging technology in education across the board has not been defined and this will be critical to see the impact of digitisation of education.