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Post budget reaction 2016 by industry experts

Quote contribution by:  Mr. Kiran Murthi, CEO, AskmeBazaar

Honourable Finance Minister has presented a business friendly budget which is encouraging for young and fast growing India. Taking the “Start-up India” action plan forward, the budget allocated Rs. 500 cr for SC/ST & Women entrepreneurs. The announcements made during the budget also include a 100 per cent tax exemption for 3 years for start-ups, which is a welcome step. The Minister also proposed an amendment of Companies Act to allow new start-ups to register in one day. These steps will help to create a favorable business environment in the country. 

We welcome this budget as a progressive step in the right direction with an intention to promote entrepreneurship and encouraging start-ups in India. 

Also, the Finance Minister reiterated the Government’s focus on rolling out GST. We are hopeful that GST will be a reality soon, thereby ensuring uniformity in tax rates and regulations. 

Overall, we are positive that the announcements made today will lead to strong economic growth of the country. 

Quote contribution by: Aloke Bajpai, CEO & Co-Founder, ixigo

“The Union Budget 2016 has laid out big investments for the infrastructure sector which include allotment of funds for the development of roads and highways and an action plan to revive 160 non-functional airports. These steps come as a welcome move for the travel and tourism sector. 

The focus on travel and tourism is further reaffirmed with the Finance Minister announcing the annual programme “Ek Bharat – Shreshtha Bharat” which will aim at linking states and districts through exchanges in areas of language, trade, culture, travel and tourism. 

Further, we also welcome the Government’s initiative to increase baggage allowance for international passengers and exempt passengers flying into India from filing the baggage declaration form if they are not carrying dutiable or prohibited goods. This will surely ease inbound tourism. 

The current government’s focus on the Indian startup ecosystem is very positive and the union budget 2016 has reinforced support for entrepreneurship and start-up businesses in India.”

Quote contribution by: Dr. Amol Raut, CEO, GeneSupport

“With India being at the brink of lifestyle disorder, it’s a high time that government should increase their focus on preventive healthcare technology. Indian population is youngest in the world but this very population is falling prey to hoards of lifestyle disorders with passing time. Honourable Finance Minister allocated funds for healthcare insurance which is a good news but it again focused more on curative part of treatment. According to my point of view this year’s budget is not very focused on preventive healthcare technology which is a need of the hour but  will have a supplementary impact on the healthcare ecosystem. The medical fraternity today is emphasizing more on the later part. Other unfavourable factor was there was no fund allocation for public healthcare and infrastructure improvement. Overall, this year’s budget was not an exceptional affair in terms of preventive healthcare, hope to see  movement and revolution in the next one though.”

Quote contribution by: UCWeb India & New Call Telecom


“Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has presented a well-rounded and constructive budget, focusing on most critical aspects of the economy. 

Thrust on farm sector, increased spending on rural development and infrastructure planning shows that this government means business. The record digitization plan outlined is another major positive. The new digital literacy mission scheme will cover 6 crore additional households and bolster employability of rural youth. There is also the much-needed thrust on entrepreneurship training, higher education and skills development that will help make India a knowledge base. While the reduction in corporate tax is welcome, it is applicable only to select companies and is a minor negative. Measures to reduce tax hassles and address disputes, on the other hand, are a positive.

 Quote contribution by: Mr. Pramod Saxena, Chaiman & MD, Oxigen Services

Tax exemption for Start-ups, amendments to Companies Act and allocation for Stand-up India scheme will further aid cost and ease of doing of business in India.” 

“We are happy with the general direction of the budget as it lays emphasis on development of the rural sector, digitisation and reforms in banking. The digital literacy mission that has been announced which will target 6 crore households with financial literacy, with this the digital connect and payments connect will play an important role. Also, statutory status to Aadhaar will play a very big role in promoting digital payments, social benefit transfers and allowing several services beyond banking & insurance to be also be brought into its fold, whether it is government subsidies or government payments it will open a way for more government payments and subsidies to flow into the financial inclusion program.”   

  Quote contribution by:  Ms. Debjani Ghosh, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group and Managing Director for South Asia at Intel

“The budget is strongly focused on bridging the divide between the ‘haves’ and ‘have not’s’, and good work by the Government in identifying the right priorities for focus under the 9 pillars called out by the FM. This budget, unlike any other, has not treated technology in isolation but integrated the effective use of technology across all the strategic imperatives in keeping with the intent of a Digital India. This budget has laid emphasis on governance reforms and ease of doing business, while highlighting the need for enhancing educational skills in order to make India a knowledge based economy. Intel along with NASSCOM launched the National Digital Literacy Mission in 2012 and we are very heartened to see the government’s continued commitment towards building  technology relevance at the grass-roots by extending NDLM to 6 crore rural households. We are disappointed with announcement of the R&D incentives reducing because we believe that it is critical for India to be one of the most innovative countries in the world and this move could be detrimental in building India as an innovation hub. I strongly urge the government to re-consider this move, as any restrictions on the R&D ecosystem are likely to decelerate innovation in the country and restrain the ambitious Make in India and Digital India vision.”

Mr Rajiv Vij, MD & CEO, Carzonrent  said”FM’s focus towards infrastructure development, rail and expanding road network is a welcome initiative, which will inject new energy in to related sectors like transportation, tourism – domestic and inbound, automotive, construction, etc.. which are important contributors to the GDP of the Country. We also see this as a booster to the mobility services providers, like us, as people will see improving road network enable them to plan their travel by road, reduce travel time, de-congest the existing roads as alternate routes will be developed. Thus, encouraging people to undertake trips using self-drives or other options of car-rental services.”

“Though the ‘Smart City’ development is running behind schedule, but the focus on infrastructure Development is a first step in that direction, and can be built on it further.  FM’s push to the ‘Skill Development’ initiative as an element of ‘Make In India’ is a positive step in creating skilled workforce important for overall nation building.”

Ms Sakshi Vij, Founder & CEO Myles says, “It is encouraging to see the FM’s mission to promote entrepreneurial drive among women which will go a long way in meeting the overall agenda of women empowerment … A considerable shift  – job creators from job seekers earlier. Strengthening the women entrepreneur by offering them budgetary help to encourage them to setup ventures of their own.”

Quote contribution by: Indian Cellular Association’s

  •  ICA welcomes suitable interventions as per Budget 2016-2017 announcements with the objective to establish India as the Global Manufacturing HUB for mobile handsets and components under the ‘Make In India’ program of GOI
  •  Components industry of INR 7000 – INR 10000 crs pertaining to Mobile Phone chargers, batteries and wired headsets will get established by 2018

 The Indian Cellular Association (ICA) National President, Pankaj Mohindroo has welcomed the emphasis given to promote manufacturing of mobile phone parts, components and accessories as per Budget announcements made by the Hon’ble Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley.

 “The differential duty regime available for promoting domestic mobile handset manufacturing in India has now been enhanced and extended for Mobile handset adapters / chargers, batteries and headsets / speakers of mobile handsets for supply to mobile manufacturers. The domestic manufacture will attract only 2% excise duty while imports will face 29.441% duty, giving a 27.441 % protection to domestic manufacturing vis-à-vis importers. Further, a broad category of inputs including parts, components and sub-parts has been exempted from excise as well as CVD of customs when used for manufacture’, said Mr. Mohindroo.

 However, Mr. Mohindroo has maintained that in order for the domestic manufacturing Industry to take full advantage of this regulatory benefit, the actual date of implementation of this duty dispensation should be postponed to 01-06-2016 in case for mobile adapters / chargers and 01-09-2016 in case of batteries and wired headsets, considering the lead time required to set up manufacturing operations for these components / accessories.

 The National President, ICA has been optimistic about the positive impact of this important regulatory intervention on overall transformation of the mobile handsets, its parts, components and accessories manufacturing industry in India. Mr. Mohindroo further maintained that this particular component manufacturing roadmap is similar to the one which was earlier adopted for boosting growth of the automobile components manufacturing industry in past.

 Currently, most of the parts, components and accessories barring chargers (where some amount of manufacturing activity has been taking place), which go into manufacture of mobile handsets are largely been imported. And based on the existing duty dispensation, there were no duty advantage / protection for domestic manufacturers to carry out manufacturing activity from India compared to import it from abroad for supply to mobile handset manufacturers on actual user conditions.

 Mr. Mohindroo has further mentioned that, “as per estimates the total production output of approx. INR 7000 – INR 10000 crs. of mobile adapter / charger, battery and wired headsets production can be achieved by 2018, based on this important initiative.”

 Mr. Mohindroo has further highlighted that for successful implementation of this proposal, the State Governments will also have to incorporate recommendations for cleaning up the relevant VAT schedules, where the tax rate on the said accessories ranges between 5% to 14.5% with little recognition for manufacture. Even a Central Government advisory to the States to tax mobile accessories at the same rate as mobile phones when packed in a single box, as laid out in the Excise and Customs Rules are yet to be followed and adopted by the States.

 Mr Mohindroo also thanked the Finance Minister for continuing with the current differential duty taxation system currently applicable for mobile handsets and tablets, which is playing an important role to promote domestic manufacturing. As per estimates the mobile handset manufacturing industry has witnessed a robust growth of over 100% in value in 2015 – 2016.

 Mr. Hari Om Rai, Co-chairman – FTTF (Fast Track Task Force) & CMD – Lava International has expressed thanks for implementation of industry suggestions to streamline excise procedures for manufacturing with the Excise approvals have been and rightly substituted by self – declaration.

 Mr. Rai, further maintained that, “the industry is unhappy on the imposition of 2% SAD on populated PCBs used in manufacture of mobile phones and tablet computers. As much as half of production cost of a Mobile phone consists of populated PCBs and this imposition of 2% SAD will mean that the duty differential between complete mobile phones and its parts / components for manufacturing will be significantly diminished. India has not yet developed the eco-system for the complexity involved in populating a mobile phone bare PCB.”

Quote contribution by: Prashant Singhal, Global Telecommunications Leader at EY

“Telecom sector had high expectations from the Finance Minister, since several existing tax provisions were exerting additional burden on the industry and required urgent revamp.  Proposals introduced in Finance Bill 2016 is a mixed bag for the telecom sector.  While clarification introduced in taxation of spectrum fee and applicability of BCD may result in increased financial burden for the ailing telcos, the same may reduce future litigation.  Withdrawal of customs duty exemption on battery, chargers & headsets and Introduction of lower excise duty regime for routers, modems and other CPE equipment is in line with the government focus on local manufacturing and digital India.  Reduction in rate of withholding tax on commission to 5% is a welcome step for the telecom industry.

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