Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises
The first Budget of this new decade reimagines India in the form of Aatmanirbhar Bharat like never before. Coming in the backdrop of a global pandemic, it boldly spells the government’s growth agenda and march towards building a new and prosperous India. The Budget clearly has the stamp of our Prime Minister with a clarion call for ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ and ‘Vocal for Local’. The efforts of the FM to restore economic growth while elucidating a clear road map in the health care, infrastructure and insurance sectors is bound to bring confidence to the industry and global investors, providing a much needed reassurance of the government’s strong support.
Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Group
I would like to commend the Finance Minister for a well-balanced and realistic Budget designed to put India’s ongoing business cycle recovery on a solid foundation. The high focus on public capital expenditure, relaxing fiscal deficit targets and concrete plans to support financial markets through recapitalisation of public sector banks, and an asset reconstruction company for bad loans will provide the necessary impetus to restore economic growth. Furthermore, the introduction of a Development Finance Institution to fund long-term projects will complement the high focus on infrastructure.
Dinesh Khara, Chairman, SBI
The announcements are historic as it gives a never-before thrust to infrastructure. The pressing issue of infrastructure financing has also been well addressed covering debt component, asset monetisation, foreign participation through InvITs and REITs, besides the proposal to make zero coupon bonds issued by IDFs eligible for tax benefit. The Budget has taken the long pending issue of creating a pan-India development financial institution to address the debt component of infrastructure financing.
It has rightly recognised the role of core equity capital in financial sector, by raising FDI limit in insurance companies and allowing foreign ownership and control with safeguards.
Amit Syngle, MD & CEO, Asian Paints
Beyond the exigencies around the pandemic, it is a positive and growth-oriented Budget. Announcements made on promoting manufacturing are positive for job creation. Greater emphasis on infra spending would provide a much-needed fillip. Extension of affordable housing benefits should support the revival of the realty sector. Provisions towards concessional credit and working capital availability for farmers are good for the rural economy. Stability on the taxation structure will help reinforce the confidence of the corporate sector. Overall, the Budget will give an impetus to demand. This should benefit the coatings industry.
I rate this budget 7 out of 10.
Mohit Malhotra, CEO, Dabur
At a time of economic stress where the govt had little headroom for manoeuvre, the FM has presented a highly growth-oriented and forward-looking Budget that focuses on pumping up economic growth. The first Digital Budget takes the investment route to drive long-term economic growth. The first Budget of the new decade tries to strike a balance between supporting growth and it is heartening to see the government take the bold move towards higher borrowings to focus on long-term growth. I would call it a growth-oriented and progressive Budget that lays down the blueprint for creating an enabling framework that would promote an Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Anish Shah, Deputy MD & CFO, Mahindra
This is a bold and positive Budget, perfect for an aspirational economy like India. . The Budget has rightly focused on infrastructure spending where the fiscal multipliers are high and will create much needed jobs. Importantly, it has focused on health with an emphasis on services delivery while continuing its allocations on agriculture. All this without imposing any additional tax burden. While the privatisation of two public sector banks is a seminal move, the Budget also tries to tackle the non-performing asset challenge through asset reconstruction companies. Overall, the Budget will propel the India story further. We continue to be very bullish on growth opportunities in India.
TV Narendran CEO & MD, Tata Steel
The FM presented a growth-oriented Budget while retaining the government’s focussed approach on infrastructure-led economic revival. Implementation of the proposals will be critical for the benefits to percolate across the economy. Increased capex in the infra sector will have a multiplier effect as it will create demand across product categories. Announcements like the National Rail Plan, Jal Jeevan Mission, and City Gas Distribution Network will generate new employment and spur demand. The govt has done a balancing act of infra development between the rural and urban areas. Overall, we can call it a reformist Budget as it recognises the participation of private players in all key areas.
Rashesh Shah, Chairman, Edelweiss group
It was a perfect antidote. The expansionary Budget provides the necessary impetus for an accelerated return to growth. Its capex-friendly nature, keeping aside short-term ramifications in the fiscal deficit, will ensure the onset of a new self-sustaining growth cycle pushing private capex and consumption. At the same time, the government has undertaken enabling reforms across sectors — creation of specialised stressed asset resolution entity, hike in FDI in insurance, PLI schemes, new health care initiatives, etc. Focus on generating revenue through disinvestment rather than a higher tax burden must be applauded since it ensures no impact on the spending of individuals.
Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India
We have been pushing for investments in health care infrastructure.
Increasing the health care outlay by over 100 per cent is a great move. The Rs 35,000-crore allocation for vaccines would at least take care of the vulnerable sections. This is a great investment in the sense of return on investment that the government can get on the taxpayers’ money. Part of this allocation would also be spent on research and innovation, and funding clinical trials for new companies that now want to join the scene. This year, one also got to see a comprehensive five-year road map for health care infrastructure creation, which is great as a healthier India is the only way India is more productive.
RAJEEV TALWAR, CEO, DLF
The FM has delivered a pro-growth Budget in a pandemic year. The Budget has laid out a blueprint for growth attracting investment for its ‘Make in India’ programme. The massive outlay in health, education, agri, infra will generate economic activity. A vibrant economy always revives the real estate. The tax holiday being extended for affordable housing and rental projects will boost the sector. We must also welcome the announcement on debt financing of REITs and InvITs. The provision for no TDS on dividends of REITs/InvITs will attract investments in the infra. Divestment of public enterprises, asset recycling are all aimed at balancing government’s finances.