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A Bold Budget Maps India Inc’s Road To An Atmanirbhar Bharat


Chandra Shekhar Ghosh

Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Bandhan Bank

“It was a growth-centric Budget, aimed at securing India’s long-term economic interest. The government has prioritised spending on growth at this stage with the hope that it would help manage the fiscal deficit. A substantial increase announced in the expenditure on healthcare and infrastructure will help boost economic growth, including the MSME sector and generate employment.”

Siddhartha Sanyal

Chief Economist & Head of Research, Bandhan Bank

“The budget was clearly expected to emphasise supporting the nascent recovery in growth. The quantum of the total fiscal spending that the finance minister has offered has surpassed expectation. Larger healthcare spending and support for MSMEs and rural economy are welcome steps in the current situation. The steps towards financing infrastructure remain aligned with the country’s long-term growth aspiration.”

AK Das

Managing Director & CEO, Bank of India

“The Union Budget announcements feature bold initiatives and a strong resolve to boost the economy. The most fearless and progressive announcement relates to consciously going for fiscal slippage and in that bid, fast forward the V-shaped recovery in a broad-based manner. Re-visit of DFI framework, creation of ARC-AMC institution are few moves which provide feel-good dimension to our real sector, including financial stability.”

Suvankar Sen

CEO, Senco Gold and Diamonds

“The duty reduction in gold and silver is a good initiative and support from the government to reduce unofficial smuggling. The responsibility of Sebi to manage bullion exchange implementation will help make the gem and jewellery sector more organised.”

V Balasubramaniam

Managing Director & CEO, India INX

“I welcome the budget announcement on allowing debt financing of REITs/InvITs by FPIs. It is well poised to provide listing and trading of these products on the exchange with considerable ease of business and quicker time to market for issuers and tax-efficient trading for foreign investors across time zones with 22-hour non-stop trading. Tax exemption on dividends on REITs and InvITs will make them attractive and lucrative for investors. This Budget also saw the government’s strengthened support to make GIFT IFSC one of the leading international financial centres.”

Ashishkumar Chauhan

Managing Director & CEO, BSE

“The Budget is big on large picture and vision despite the calamitous period we have witnessed last financial year. I would give it 9.5 on 10. The rationalisation of tax structures for FPIs, NRIs, InvITS and REITs will also help attract more funds for capital formation in India. A consolidated Securities Market Act, domestic gold exchange regulator, LIC IPO, PSU disinvestments show the government’s resolve to boost and strengthen the market infrastructure framework for capital formation. Tax-efficient zero-coupon bonds for infra financing will bring in significant flows and enhance the role of the capital markets in nation building.”

Amar Ambani

Senior President & Institutional Research Head, YES Securities

“The Budget rightly decided to focus on economic growth by raising expenditure and allowing for a wider fiscal deficit in these pandemic times. Importantly, spend on capital expenditure is far higher at 2.5% of GDP vis-à-vis 1.7% last year, a move in the right direction. Domestic manufacturing is going to be a big growth engine with previous corporate tax reductions, correction of inverted duty structures and a lot more subsidy. The allocation increases to housing, infrastructure, health and textiles, the move to curb prolonged tax scrutiny and firm mindset shown to privatise certain PSUs, creation of ARCs for bad loans and monetise government land banks are steps in the right direction. However, bond yields are bound to harden given the extended borrowing programme of the government and inflationary expansion in the budget.”

Vijay Chandok

Managing Director & CEO, ICICI Securities

“The Union Budget has set the foundation for the lifting of Indian economy from under $3 trillion to $5 trillion. It focusses on making India Atmanirbhar by investing big in infrastructure, manufacturing and healthcare, to be aptly funded through higher fiscal deficit, in a benign interest rate scenario. The enhanced capex for Infra and manufacturing measures are likely to be key in generating overall demand as well as drive employment generation. Monetisation of infra assets, divestment plans of non-core asset and conducive tax compliance is likely to attract the much needed foreign capital.”

Gopichand P Hinduja

Co-Chairman, Hinduja Group

“The finance minister must be congratulated for presenting a pathbreaking, inclusive budget in these unprecedented times. The proposed capital expenditure of Rs 5.54 lakh crore, 34.5% higher than the current year augurs well for the infrastructure, manufacturing industry and job creation. The bold BFSI reforms announced of creating pathway for transferring NPAs from PSB balance sheets will spur the lending activity. The decision to increase FDI in the insurance sector, monetisation of government assets will boost global investor sentiments and should greatly contribute to the advancement of India in the Ease of Doing Business Index. Disinvestment target set by the government is encouraging however, it should be completed in the stated timeframe. The budget also encourages an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country through one-person company. The extension of tax holiday for start-ups and increased allocation for research and development will encourage innovation.”

Surojit Shome

Managing Director & CEO, DBS Bank India

“The Budget outlined several landmark proposals on much-needed reforms to fund a strong growth-oriented multi-year programme of capex-led recovery post a black swan event. It is encouraging to see the FM target policy reforms and boost capital infusion into the infrastructure, SME and start-up sectors recognising them as engines of growth in the post-pandemic revival. The thrust on digital payments, e-resolution of tax-related disputes and the first virtual census also underlines the government’s focus and continued thrust on digital infrastructure.”

Dhirendra Mahyavanshi

Co-Founder, Turtlemint (An Insurtech Company)

“The tax proposals, though falling short of any rationalisation of the direct tax structure, are sufficient to provide relief to the taxpayer. Measures like exempting senior citizens (75 years and above) who only have pension and interest income from filing income tax returns, increase in limit for tax audit for persons who carry out 95% of their transactions digitally, and an additional deduction of Rs 150,000 for loans taken up till March 2022 for purchase of affordable housing are all steps in the right direction.”

Bhargav Dasgupta

Managing Diurector & CEO, ICICI Lombard General Insurance

“The non-life insurance sector finally witnessed a long-standing demand being fulfilled in terms of increase in FDI limit to 74%. This should catalyse the long-term development and growth of the industry. At the same time, steps such as privatisation, increased allocation to healthcare and infrastructure, voluntary scrapping of vehicles policy are positive for the sector. What remains to be seen is the timely implementation of these measures.”

Hari Om Rai

Chairman & MD, Lava International Limited

“It is a historic Budget, making a mark of the beginning of a new India. The government has given a clarion call to the industry with the announcement of creating global champions from India and backing this strategy with the new development finance institution. Now the responsibility shifts to the industry to not only dream but to dream big and stand together with the government to make the country progress from poverty to wealth over the next three decades.”

Narayan ‘Naru’ Ramamoorthy

Chief Revenue Officer, Global PayEX

“It is laudable that the Budget lays an increased emphasises on use of data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning across industries. We welcome the government move in taking definitive steps towards using the power of digital technologies and boosting the fintech and start-up ecosystem through initiatives such as fintech hub in Gujarat International Fintech Tec (GIFT). The benefits accrued through the allocation of Rs 1,500 crore for promoting digital modes of payment as well as the increased tax audit limit for those who carry 95% of their transactions digitally will enable businesses, especially MSMEs, to digitise their entire value chain and drive exponential impact on key business levers – innovation, growth and efficiency.”

Kuldip Maity

Managing Director & CEO, Village Financial Services

“I congratulate the finance minister for imparting growth impetus as the Budget has increased outlay on building healthcare institutions, road infrastructure and residential schools in tribal areas. This will lead to development of small businesses and will help in generating self-employment in and around these projects. Micro-entrepreneurs are the backbone of Indian economy and this growth-oriented budget will lead to more demand for microfinance as it has opened the gates by broadening the demand side of the sector.”

Vipin Sondhi

Managing Director & CEO, Ashok Leyland

“The finance minister has unveiled a well-thought-out budget anchored by six key pillars. This could set out a virtuous cycle for growth and job creation spearheaded with a thrust on Public investment in Infrastructure and Health. The key will be in effective implementation. The Budget has several positive signals for the manufacturing sector and the commercial vehicles (CV) sector, which are core to the economy. I would like to mention four specific areas that would provide the much-needed demand impetus to the CV sector. First, the commitment to augment the road infrastructure with projects for building 8,500 km of highways and economic corridors. Second, a Rs 18,000-crore scheme to augment public transport in urban areas with the addition of 20,000 new buses in a PPP model. Third, the assurance of implementing a voluntary scrappage policy for 20 years for personal vehicles and 15 years for commercial vehicles. And, fourth, the emphasis on rejuvenating the manufacturing sector with double-digit sustainable growth is reassuring.”

TV Narendran

Chief Executive Officer & MD, Tata Steel

“The increased capex in the infrastructure sector, including the healthcare infrastructure, will have a multiplier effect as it will create demand across product categories, including steel. Announcements like the National Rail Plan, Jal Jeevan Mission, and City Gas Distribution Network will generate new employment opportunities and spur demand in multiple sectors. The government has done a balancing act of infrastructure development between the rural and urban areas which will again have a positive impact on the economy and the society at large. The Budget has also tried to address myriad concerns of the informal sector, including the migrant workers, by announcing the social security scheme for the gig economy workers, which is again a welcome step. Exemption of duty on steel scrap and reduction of customs duty on steel products would benefit the MSME sector. Reforms and measures, including Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, Development Finance Institution (DFI), Asset Reconstruction and Asset Management Company, Voluntary Vehicle Scrappage Policy, simplification of regulatory complexities, extension of tax holiday for start-ups will provide much needed fillip to the economy and enable growth.”

Vikash Agarwal

President, Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

“It was a bold, growth-oriented and historic budget in many ways. By increasing capital spending by 34.5% over last year at Rs 5.54 lakh crore, this Budget aims at demand-driven recovery in output and employment, the need of the hour. ICC compliments the government for keeping higher fiscal deficit target of 9.5% for this year and 6.8% for the next year, which would be funded through borrowings and disinvestment. Industry would like to thank the FM for keeping the taxes more or less unchanged during these trying times. This is a budget for a Healthy India with a strong infrastructure and industry. The Budget is in line with Atmanirbhar Bharat Vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In line with the vision, the budget proposes PLI, rationalisation of customs exemptions and raises duties on products which can be manufactured in India. The government’s commitment to fast track privatisation, disinvestment and monetisation of unused assets is praiseworthy.”

Ashish Kumar Srivastava

Managing Director & CEO, PNB MetLife

“We applaud this significant step towards 74% foreign investment. This will provide a boost to the sector and we look forward to the amendment to come into effect at the earliest.”

Harshil Mathur

Chief Executive Officer & Co-founder, Razorpay

“2020 saw an 80% increase in digital payments, especially from Tier 2 & 3 cities, and the government has understandably focussed on capitalising on this momentum and incentivising the adoption of digital payments for the year ahead. I believe the Rs 1,500-crore incentive announced will open a plethora of opportunities for fintechs to innovate for the new normal, leading to large-scale adoption even in the smallest of towns and villages. I’m hoping the funds will be used towards developing alternatives to Zero MDR policy and initiatives towards bringing digital financial literacy in vernacular languages. These will instil trust in the system and accelerate adoption from MSMEs and entrepreneurs who are apprehensive towards moving money digitally. Easing the norms around setting up of One-Person Companies (OPC), without any restrictions on paid-up capital and turnover, is a good step towards removing barriers to innovation among start-ups. Also, the 1-year extension towards capital gains exemption will provide additional tax relief for start-ups, enabling ease-of-doing-business in this new order and allowing small businesses to prosper.”

George Alexander Muthoot

Managing Director, Muthoot Finance

“The 2021-22 budget has laid clear emphasis on economic growth and the financial services sector will play a crucial role in achieving the development goals of the government. Among the several business friendly announcements, some that stood out for us include net rationalisation of customs duty on gold by 2.5% which should bring more gold into the country through official channels and incentivising purchase of affordable homes by extending eligibility period for claiming additional deduction of interest paid of Rs 1.5 lakh to March 31, 2022. Increasing FDI limit in insurance to 74% from 49% is another progressive announcement that will bring more investments and activity in this sector. Lastly, reflective of the importance of the MSME sector, the government has provided Rs 15,700 crore for it, double of last year’s budgeted estimate, and we stand steadfast with MSMEs, individuals and entrepreneurs of India in financing and enabling their Atmanirbhar Bharat ambitions.”

Umesh Revankar

Managing Director & CEO, Shriram Transport Finance

“We welcome the government’s enhanced outlay of Rs 118,101 lakh crore for the ministry of road transport and highways and the decision to launch a voluntary vehicle scrapping policy to phase out old vehicles. This will encourage vehicle owners to buy younger vehicles up to 10 years old and ultimately lead to more new vehicle sales. We support these government initiatives as these steps are beneficial for both our company and the sector.”

Colin Shah

Chairman, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC)

“The reduction in import duty from 12.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent will help gem and jewellery exports become globally competitive. Reduction in duty on raw materials would give the much-needed boost to the sector and help it to move to the next level. In fact, high duty on precious metal had made our exports uncompetitive leading to large Indian diaspora/NRI, moving to Dubai, Hong Kong or other centres to buy jewellery which was largely impacting the employment as well as business in India. Along with this, the decrease of import duty on jewellery findings to 10% will help the jewellery manufacturer exporters in a big way. Another relief for the industry was the clarification on equalisation levy. What we understand that from the Budget is that Online Equalisation Levy of 2% is now not applicable on B2B purchases from International Diamond Auctions. This will help our manufacturers of diamonds to buy directly from miners. We also welcome the move to make Sebi the regulator for gold exchanges as it will surely ease marketability and sale of gold.”

Vipul Shah

Vice-Chairman, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC)

The finance minister has done a remarkable job by presenting a bold budget in these difficult times. The budget focused on investments in the infrastructure sector, consolidation of regulations, implementing digitisation in several sectors and reducing regulatory forbearance. There were also various measures to improve consumptions. We want to congratulate finance minister and prime minister for coming out with a landmark budget.”

Gaurav Awasthi

Senior Partner, IIFL Wealth Management

“The Budget was better than market expectations. In line with the stated priority of the government, the Budget focusses on increased thrust to infrastructure and other supply side measures to accelerate manufacturing in the country. There were no major changes on the direct tax code which was taken very positively by the market though the lack of any demand side push was a disappointment. The government has also not been constrained by the fiscal numbers and has focussed on spending to get the economy back to its feet post the devastation of the pandemic.”

Rajiv Sabharwal

Managing Director & CEO, Tata Capital

“FM Sitharaman’s six-pillar Budget is progressive and growth-inducing in more ways than one. Push to infrastructure, healthcare and education and extension of tax holidays for startups and affordable housing projects are exactly the reforms that our economy needs for growth. The increase in FDI in insurance to 74%, provisions for the divestment of PSBs and the famed LIC IPO will accelerate growth in the banking and financial services sector of the country. Also, the institutional framework is a welcome confidence building measure which will deepen the secondary markets. The Budget will benefit the real estate sector in the form of extension of interest deductions and tax holidays for affordable housing projects. The Vehicle Scrappage policy will be a big boost for the Auto sector. Allocating funds for digital adoption and providing incentives for the same will facilitate digital inclusion and greater transparency in the financial services ecosystem. This is a great motivator for companies to continue innovating.”

Anil Gupta

Chairman-cum-Managing Director, KEI Industries Ltd

“The allocation of Rs 3.05 lakh crore over five years for a more revamped reforms-based power distribution sector scheme will provide assistance to discoms which will benefit us in establishing well-defined strategies and plans to generate more demand and ensure smooth power supply. Further, the government’s announcement to boost renewable energy, solar energy corporation to boosting renewable energy development would in turn help us frame the sector very differently and efficiently. Additionally, looking ahead at the zeal to augment the country’s infrastructure with highway, enhancing public transport in urban areas will prove to be beneficial for the overall development of the society and give the much-needed boost to manufacturing companies like ours to get back to powering the economy as per pre-COVID levels.”

Dinesh Kumar Khara

Chairman, State Bank of India

“The Union Budget has unveiled a set of well-crafted and robust policies that encompass the vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat. The Budget has rightly envisaged a substantial jump in capital expenditure that has a strong multiplier impact on the economy. The decision to open up the insurance sector, setting up a DFI and an ARC, privatising a couple of public sector banks are all positive steps for the financial sector. Social sectors have received large attention in the budget with a thrust on developing a health and education infrastructure on a mission mode. This will augment human capital, an essential prerequisite for inclusive growth. The Budget has unveiled a flurry of steps covering all infrastructure sectors that are force multipliers and generates employment. One of the cornerstones of this budget is fiscal numbers that are transparent and has the potential to surprise us on the upside. In principle, the budget has rationalized the off-balance-sheet borrowings and headline fiscal deficit numbers, which will overtly please markets and even rating agencies. The fact that the expenditure announcements in the budget have been matched with the status quo on taxes will please everyone and bolster market sentiments.”

Tarun Chugh

Managing Director & CEO, Bajaj Allianz Life

“The government has announced an increase in FDI for insurance sector from 49% to 74%, which is a positive move and will help in the growth of the sector. However, the move on taxation change for ULIPs (of higher ticket size, annual premium of more than Rs 2.5 lakh) would have an impact on such investments. Tax benefits still remain in the event of death of the life assured or in the case of ULIP policies where annual premium is Rs 2.5 lakh or below. This tends to reduce the competitive advantage that ULIPs enjoyed as compared to other short term investment vehicles.Overall, despite the fall in tax and revenue collections due to the economic contraction in FY21, the government has not introduced any major increase in taxes, and supported on the expenditure side, especially for capex. This is quite positive, and shows the intent of the government in supporting the growth recovery. The Budget has given precedence to growth recovery by allowing some amount of fiscal slippage. It is an inclusive one, encompassing different segments of the economy, with the focus, and higher allocation, on infrastructure and healthcare.”

Sampath Reddy

Chief Investment Officer, Bajaj Allianz Life

“The Budget has been pragmatic and growth-oriented. It has given greater emphasis to support growth recovery by allowing some fiscal slippage. Fiscal deficit for FY21 has been pegged at 9.5% and for FY22 at 6.8%, which has been higher than market estimates.Focus areas have been on infrastructure and healthcare sectors with capex budgeted to grow by a healthy 26% in FY22, and total healthcare and wellness outlay increased by a lofty 137% in FY22. The boost for infrastructure should help to revive investment and help support the growth recovery. With buoyancy in capital markets, the government has revived its commitment towards PSU divestment drive by announcing a large target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore via divestment route in FY22, after significantly underachieving the lofty FY21 target on the back of market volatility and economic contraction.The equity markets cheered the Budget but the bond markets have seen some hardening in yields due to the higher than expected fiscal slippage and government borrowing.”

Prashant Ruia

Director, Essar Capital

“Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget 2021 statement attempts to put a medium to long term foundation to the emergency measures undertaken by the government in the first nine months of the pandemic. By all measures, the government has done a fine job at reviving the growth impulses in the economy.This Budget, therefore, attempts to reinforce the health, physical and financial infrastructure so that the economy is never ever caught in a similar situation. What is also truly radical is that the governments has outlined a vision of increasing its focus on strategic investments and monetising government assets at the right time.”

Sanjay Palve

Managing Director, Essar Capital Ltd

“This is a ‘spend big’ budget with clear focus on banking and infrastructure sector which is exactly what the economy needed and in sectors that required it. The manner in which the FM has sought to clean up the balance sheet of banks by creating a bad bank for stressed assets. This will certainly give banks the elbowroom they need to start lending aided by the proposed Development Finance Institution with ₹ 20,000 cr capital. All these initiatives will spur corporate investments. With this comprehensive approach, the FM has reset the economy for a V-shaped recovery.”

Rajiv Agarwal

Chief Executive Officer & MD, Essar Ports Ltd

“The budget 2021 is extremely positive, driving the country towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat by laying huge stress on health care, infrastructure, banking and insurance, textile and agriculture that will aid the country not only towards economic revival but also spur growth. The Infrastructure spending is going up by 34% through NIP and a welcome Focus on boost in road and railway infrastructure with new economic corridors planned will certainly help the growth of the logistics sector and will lead to enhancing trade in the country.The announcement of the launch of the National Asset Monetisation Pipeline which will include transmission lines of power grid, oil and gas pipelines, airports and toll roads will be a game-changer. The government’s increased focus on the infrastructure sector will certainly bring in positive measures for the holistic growth of the logistics and maritime sector. No new tax is a very big positive in these times.”

Rahul Bhargava

Chief Operating Officer, Essar Shipping Ltd

“FM has announced a new scheme to be launched for flagging of merchant ships in India by providing subsidy support to Indian ship owners. Fund allocation of Rs 1,624 crore over 5 years will boost ship owners to acquire ships to service tenders floated by ministries, resulting in increase of Indian flag ships. With increase in fleet, more job opportunities will be created.SCI privatisation as part of the disinvestment scheme of the government of its CPSE units is likely to bring more efficiency and the improvisation in business and operations from India. The privatisation will bring in foreign investments that will have an overall improved impact in the Indian shipping industry.”

Santosh Chandra

Chief Executive Officer, Essar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Ltd (EOGEPL)

“The Budget laid focus on clean air and environment by expanding the City Gas Distribution (CGD) network to 100 more districts as well as extending the Ujjwala scheme to one crore more beneficiaries.The launch of a National Hydrogen Mission in 2021-22 for generating hydrogen from green power sources is also a forward-looking and remarkable step. These are surely optimistic moves that will gradually put India ahead of its peers towards its commitment to address issues of climate change and building a clean fuel gas-based economy.”

Kush S

Chief Executive Officer, Essar Power

“We would like to thank the government for giving due emphasis to the power sector in this year’s Budget. In a highly anticipated move, the FM announced a Rs 3,05,984-crore scheme to reform the power distribution sector in the country. It will surely help reduce T&D losses and improve efficiency of electricity distribution companies (discoms). The proposed amendments and Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 with measures such as ‘de-licensing’ of the power distribution business to bring in competition is a very consumer centric move which aims at creating a level playing field for all distribution companies. The Rs 1,000-crore grant for the growth of the solar energy sector and Rs 1,500 crore to the renewable energy sector is also a welcome move and will help the country achieve the ambitious target of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022.”

Ramesh Mamgain

Country Manager, India & SAARC, Commvault

“The Union Budget 2021 is sui generis considering that it is India’s first-ever ‘Digital Budget’. The gesture of doing away with the paper versions of Budget underlines government’s commitment towards PM’s ‘Digital India’ vision. A renewed focus on infrastructure would mean accelerated technology adoption, which cannot be accomplished without data privacy measures, propelled by data protection. This approach would help in strengthening India’s data protection framework to protect individual information, with investments in key technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to secure cloud-based infrastructures.”

Anil Agarwal

Chairman, Vedanta Limited

“I compliment FM Sitharaman on presenting a digital Budget which has addressed every sector of the Indian economy. The steps taken by the finance minister will improve productivity in infrastructure, result in housing for the poor, help produce cheaper electricity, stimulate the growth of MSMEs and start-ups and create massive jobs. There is a big thrust on disinvestment as the government has set a target to raise Rs 1.75 lakh crore through stake sale in public sector companies in FY22. India is the investment destination for the world and this Budget will help in attracting more investors. Truly, an unparalleled budget.”

Rajiv Singh

Managing Director, BenQ India

“The Budget has given strong emphasis on spending on Infrastructure along with big push for Atmanirbhar Bharat. Alongside, there is no change in direct taxes largely which were moderated for companies last time. This will mean more money in the system and will act positively towards faster growth of economy. The government has also given additional push to education and skill development segment in the Budget which will result in extensive use of technology which in turn will give a boost to virtual classroom and Blended and Hybrid Learning.”

Rashmi Saluja

Executive Chairperson, Religare Enterprises Ltd

“The Budget has made the right sounds by pushing reforms to add infrastructure creation in healthcare and roads. Provisions for MSMEs will give a big boost to the sector that has borne the maximum brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. Setting up of the long-awaited bad bank will ease the bad loan burden by taking over the assets. This will help the banks focus on credit growth, which was hit because of the pandemic. Asset Reconstruction Company and Asset Management Company to house stressed assets will also help move the bad assets currently lying in the books of Indian banks.

The Rs 20,000-crore capital infusion into public sector banks announced will allow more room for provisioning of bad assets and boost credit growth, provided demand makes a comeback.”

Mayur Dwivedi

Head – Business Strategy and M&A, Religare Enterprises

“It is heartening to see that the government has finally addressed the long-standing demand of the industry by increasing FDI limit in insurance sector from 49% to 74%, subject to specific compliance. This move will allow foreign ownership and control safeguards, help liberalise the sector and improve penetration. The limit hike will also attract enhanced capital flow to the sector and help insurance companies to raise funds.”

Puneet Dalmia

Managing Director, Dalmia Bharat Group

“The FY22 Budget is big on vision and has taken a series of measures to bring back sustained and high growth for the Indian economy. It is evident that the budget plans to give a big boost to both manufacturing and infrastructure with some path breaking steps like creation of Development Financial institution to fund the ambitious National Infrastructure Pipeline, setting up of National Asset Monetisation Pipeline that will free up idle resources including surplus land with PSUs, and monetisation of various assets of railways like dedicated freight corridors, power transmission lines, roads, and oil and gas pipelines for fund mobilisation. The decision to set up three more dedicated freight corridors will ensure faster and smoother delivery of raw materials as well as industrial and farm products, which will help save costs and allow companies to target new markets.”

Mahendra Singhi

Managing Director & CEO, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Ltd

“The Budget is bold and visionary as it focuses on boosting domestic manufacturing and strengthening infrastructure across the country to achieve the target of $5 trillion economy, raise GDP growth to 8% plus on a sustained basis and fulfil the vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat. The budget has backed up the targeted infrastructure led recovery with hefty increase in allocation to boost formation of assets across the country. Thus, the budget has proposed to raise capital expenditure by 35% on year to Rs 5.54 lakh crore for FY22. The launch of Asset Monetization Pipeline for brownfield infrastructure assets including railways will give necessary fillip to the sector and create a virtuous cycle for mobilising finances with launch of sector specific InvITs. The decision to launch three more dedicated freight corridors will ensure seamless movement of goods including raw materials and further bring down logistics costs for manufacturing sector. It is also heartening to see that budget has focussed on tackling the critical challenge of air pollution by allocating Rs 2,217 crores for 42 urban centres with a million-plus population.”

Dr Kshitiz Murdia

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Indira IVF

“The COVID-19 pandemic drew significant attention to healthcare infrastructure in India. The initiatives for the healthcare sector taken by the Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2021-22 are laudable. Support to healthcare delivery and infrastructure is a long-term investment. A 137% increase in the budget allocated for health through preventive, curative, and wellbeing measures is crucial to ensure that India and the Indian population is back on its two feet, especially on the COVID-19 vaccine front. Another pandemic that has riddled the country is oversight on a number of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Establishing new institutions and strengthening the ones that already exist through the PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana in addition to the existing National Health Mission is, therefore, an astute call.”

Padma Shri Dr J Hareendran Nair

Founder and MD, Pankajakasthuri Herbals Pvt Ltd

“Overall, the fiscal budget 2021-22 was extremely promising. At Pankajakasthuri, we welcome the monumental increase in allocation of funds towards improving India's healthcare system and making it more robust. Over the years, the healthcare sector has been a key driver for economic growth and it is encouraging to see it listed among the six pillars towards strengthening the Prime Minister’s vision of Atmanirbharta.”