NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi government will on Friday deliver its last budget of the current Lok Sabha session. Coming ahead of the General elections due in April-May, the interim budget is likely to dole out sops for various sectors - majorly in the Agriculture, banking, real estate and the Railways.
Here is what the industry experts are expecting from the Budget:
Sanjay Agarwal, Senior Partner, TASS Advisors
A surprise in the middle of his speech. Individual taxpayers having annual taxable income upto 5 lakh to get full tax rebate. So if a person has made an investment of Rs. 150000 under section 80C and now the exemption limit of Rs. 500000. He would not have to pay any tax upto Rs. 650000 of his income. This would benefit the lower and middle class tax payers. TDs threshold for rent (sec 194I) has been increased from Rs 180000 to Rs 240000.
Joe Verghese, Managing Director, Colliers International India
If the government is looking for a silver bullet in an election year when the threat of “jobless growth” is rearing its head, injecting liquidity into the real estate/ construction industry, the biggest generator of jobs the last 25 years, is one of the most viable options. An election year interim budget is normally not something that the industry looks forward to as its agenda tends to be election focused (at the cost of industry). The industry is hoping that this year we are in for a pleasant surprise!
Atul Gupta, Senior Director Deloitte India:
1) Increase in Customs duty on consumer goods to promote domestic manufacturing; 2) Decrease in critical raw materials import duties to encourage domestic production and manufacturing; 3) Customs Law amendments for allowing the utilization of MEIS & SEIS scrips towards the payment of GST on imports and domestic procurements; 4) Related party imports the valuation process to be made simpler – doing away with Extra Duty Deposit
Vineet Chaturvedi, Co-founder, Edureka, a global online learning company based in India
What could accelerate India's skill development story even further and provide fodder to corporate growth is a 'skilling allowance' for all tax paying individuals. Such a rebate that rewards continuous learning will go a long way in creating an industry relevant workforce that can make India a skill hot spot. Such an allowance will also be beneficial to IT, ITes industries which are subject to frequent skill churn and the ed-tech industry which has been working towards addressing this skilling need on ground. Speaking specifically of the ed-tech industry, a reduction in GST would greatly help boost a culture of up-skilling among Indians and this is indeed the need of the hour for India to maintain an edge in technical skills.
Gagan Randev, National Director | Capital Markets and Investment Services
The Real Estate industry is waiting to see some positive steps that the government would take to reduce some of the stress that the sector has faced in the last couple of years. While there are a lot of expectations, the industry would be keenly awaiting good news on - 1) A reduction in the rate of GST for under construction units from 18% to 12% with Input Tax credit intact; 2) A possible reduction in GST on cement. This is taxed at an abnormally high rate of 28%. Cement is a very large component of construction cost and any reduction to say 18% would reduce construction costs significantly; 3) PMAY limit enhancement - PMAY has been a runaway success and has encouraged several first time home buyers to take the plunge. An increase in the income limit and /or increase in subsidy interest rates would encourage more people to buy houses; 4) Enhancement of 80C benefits - an increase in the 80 C benefits for Interest/Principal repayment benefits would again be a big relief to homeowners who have availed Home loans and also an encouragement to possible buyers to own vs rent. 5) Direction to the Banks to start lending to the RE sector - the industry is starved of funding - the NBFC’s have slowed down post the IL&FS crisis and the Banks (specially the PSU ones) have curtailed lending to RE Developers. Funding is critically required for survival of a lot of Developers and any steps towards addressing this would be a big step forward.
Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways:
The way the government has increased the investment in railways, from installing CCTV cameras to WiFi, I believe further investment in Railways will certainly be increased.