All eyes were on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as she presented what many pegged as a make-or-break Budget in the Lok Sabha on Saturday, with expectations that the government will take steps to get the economy back on track. Following the 160-minute-long speech, the question that all of India was asking was 'Has the Budget 2020 provided the much-needed boost that was required owing to the economic slowdown?' Republic spoke to members of the CII and industry captains from different sectors to get their feedback on the same.
Chairman of Maharashtra CII Kashmira Mewawala called it a well-rounded budget. Appreciating "the gusto with which the Finance Minister spoke, Mewawala said, "she gave us a comprehensive coverage" of the budget. "The announcements made in the various sectors by and large indicate that we are moving in the right direction," she added. While she appreciated the focus on education and the boost to startups, she also felt that more should have been done for the auto sector.
After Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a taxpayers' charter in the Income Tax Act, the members of CII unanimously praised the effort of the government to work towards increased transparency and accountability in order to eradicate tax terrorism. The taxpayers' charter was proposed to ensure fairness to all assessees and to make sure that tax officials do not harass citizens in the due process of tax collection.
CII members unanimously praised Sitharaman for how Budget 2020-21 was woven around an aspirational India, economic development and a caring society.
K Nandakumar, Chairman of Chemtrols was similarly all praise for the Budget 2020. He said, "The FM addressed all aspects that were required for a New India, an aspirational India and a caring India." He added that this budget would reap benefits in the long term.
Sanjiv Saraf, Senior VP Investment Banking at ICICI, said that it is a good budget and should not be misunderstood from the stock market point of view as the markets aren't a marksheet for the budget. He said that the combined efforts of the corporate world are the need of the hour.
However, in the real estate sector, the expectations were higher. Ramesh Nair, Country Head of JLL said, "We hope more announcements are made in the months to come." He was of the opinion that direct incentives would have provided a much-required boost to affordable housing. Experts collectively believe that announcements in infrastructure projects like the Delhi Mumbai Expressway, Bengaluru Metro and the development of smart cities will benefit the real estate sector, but indirectly. Anuj Puri, Chairman of Anarock Property Consultants, added that there should have been more focus on circle rates.