S Sriram, Chief Strategy Officer at iValue InfoSolutions
Budget 2021 was positive given the challenge around higher fiscal deficit due to lower income. It is great to see emphasis on growth front keeping fiscal deficit priority low for the next 2-3 years. The key highlights of the budget include additional allocation to health and wellbeing in a Covid ravaged year with Rs 35,000Cr allocation to Covid vaccination with 4 Indian vaccines shortly. It is also great to see 35% enhancement of Government capital expenditure at Rs 5.54 lac Cr to revive economy around Road, Rail and Metro infrastructure. It is encouraging to see focus around disinvestment with 2 PSU banks and 1 Insurance company being planned for the year with Rs 1.75 lac Cr target. FDI in insurance enhancement from 49% to 74% augers well for a country with very low penetration. The voluntary vehicle scrapping policy is set to help auto sector and address the pollution challenges. While Rs 20,000Cr PSU bank recapitalisation looks on the lower side, reopening of IT assessment cases period reduction from 6 to 3 years should give comfort to tax payers on documentation. Planned LIC IPO should set the mood right on disinvestment. The government could have put more money in the hands of people to sustain the recovery along with sops to Business on CapEx investments.
Prashanth GJ, CEO at TechnoBind
Increased spend on Healthcare and Infra are welcome moves – as this will have a cascading effect on the economy in the medium term. Whether it is Highways or Railways the enhanced allocation is very encouraging. Also interesting is the ‘Bad Bank’ which will help address the stressed assets through an ARC model. This will help keep the Banking system insulated from the spike of bad loans that are expected now – thereby allowing them to do business as usual by giving the much-needed support of credit in the system. The MSME allocation has been doubled – this too will help SME businesses in general which is a big market for us in the country.
Support for furthering the idea of Digital India is also seen and it is very welcome – encouraging digital payments and the use of AI/ML in governance is exciting. Emphasis on Digital Payment is very good as this will go a long way in bringing in financial inclusion. Provisions in the GST and customs duty rationalization is something we look forward to.