Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Group
Budget 2019 is marked with a long term 10-year vision while retaining focus on the immediate priorities. The government’s roadmap to position the economy for future sustainable growth will resonate with both domestic and international stakeholders. India now approaching the global markets to raise sovereign debt, indicates the country’s readiness to be sized amongst the best in the world. This is a huge vote of confidence in the economy and its trajectory. The focused impetus for sustainable job creation via targeted investment in infrastructure projects will have a cascading effect on secondary and tertiary employment.
Niranjan Hiranandani, President NAREDCO & MD of Hiranandani Group
Finance budget would provide further boost to the housing sector. It is for the first time in probably the last 30 years that the Union Finance budget has taken care of probably all the sector in such a detailed manner. The government’s idea to provide affordable housing will be a possibility and is highly successful in almost all the cities except Mumbai where there is a paucity of land. I believe that the additional incentive of Rs 1.5 lakh on interest on loans borrowed under the affordable housing would give a boost to the real estate sector further.
Sunil Srivastava, Managing Director, Balaji Railroad Systems Pvt. Limited
While it is good to note that the Finance Minister would like Indian Railways to go for PPP models for railway projects, historically IR has had poor response in all their previous attempts. There is a PPP Directorate in the Railway Board for some time now but despite this no PPP project has taken off especially in station development or new line. Some head way has been made in Locomotive manufacturing with the setting up of two Joint Ventures with MNC firms. However, it is too early to judge their success as they are at a very nascent stage.
Abhishek Lodha, Managing Director & CEO – Lodha Group
The budget announcement by the government is optimistic towards real estate sector since it will boost infrastructure and connectivity. The government’s move on building 1.95 crore affordable houses under the PMAY scheme will be beneficial to home buyers and developers who have invested in the segment. The tenancy law will ease out the process of renting which in turn will bring transparency during the agreement.Moreover, RBI will now regulate the housing finance companies which will lead to efficient regulation of the housing sector.
Sandeep Singh, managing director, tata hitachi
I think this is a growth-oriented budget where the Government has laid specific emphasis on infrastructure development. All the initiatives spoken of, to improve road, suburban railways, and Metro connectivity; to create a robust water management system augurs well for the construction equipment industry. The budget seems to strike a balance between addressing the objective of inclusivity and laying the path for a $5-trillion economy by focusing on infrastructure spending. However , the risk to this forecast would be from a financial market turmoil or an increase in commodity prices like oil which may result in a significant depreciation of the rupee. The focus on agriculture and the rural sector is a welcome step. It is also encouraging to note the Government’s focus on skill development – to train 10 million youth to take up industry oriented training and acquire various skillsets in AI, big data, VR, 3-D printing, etc Additional allocation of budget to Bharatnet will also have a deep impact on skilling rural India as it has the potential to open up online learning to students and professionals from remote villages.
Gene Fang, Associate Managing Director, Sovereign Risk Group, Moody’s Investors Service
In today’s budget, India’s government announced a lower fiscal deficit target for fiscal 2020, while maintaining its support for growth and incomes. Achieving these competing goals will be very challenging. We expect the economy to grow relatively slowly, despite the government’s income support measures.In addition to funding an expansion of support for farmers, a new pension scheme and relief for small taxpayers, as previously announced, the latest budget includes a Rs 700 billion recapitalization of state-owned banks. This will support growth by encouraging the flow of credit to the economy, although simultaneously adding to government debt.
Anil Agarwal, Executive Chairman, Vedanta Resources
The budget has set some mega targets like 100 lakh crore rupees investment in infrastructure over the next five years that has the potential to completely transform the face of our nation and help the economy reach $5 trillion mark. It is good to note the budget document clearly states that strategic disinvestment of select CPSEs would continue to remain a priority of this government and it will offer more CPSEs for strategic participation by the private sector. Our CPSEs hold significant intrinsic value and I firmly believe that their divestment will not only unlock that value but also boost their contribution to the growth of the Indian economy.
Vimal Kejriwal, MD & CEO, KEC International
I look forward to the much-needed power sector reforms package. Initiatives like BharatNet to bridge the rural-urban digital divide and thrust towards EVs & charging stations are expected to provide ample business opportunities.
Tanuj Choudhry, Chief Business Officer & Board Member, HomeLane.
This year’s budget has announced encouraging developments for some segments of the start-up community in India. Bringing more companies with an annual turnover of up to INR 400 crore under the lower corporate tax bracket of 25% is an encouraging move and it will help many companies have better liquidity. We were hopeful that the government will abolish Angel Tax. However, the measures to ease scrutiny from Income tax department by the introduction of e-verification for investors will definitely ease many budding businesses.
Sandeep Upadhyay, MD & CEO, Centrum Infrastructure Advisory Ltd.
FMs speech highlighted key milestones achieved under Bharatmala scheme and rural road Connectivity initiatives which is commendable. Government’s renewed push to encourage innovative roll-out models in road sector like Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) and other new models like TOT (Toll Operate Transfer) and modified BOT is well thought through and is in line with mobilizing alternative financing resources to be raised through an effective asset monetization strategy.Infrastructure Credit enhancement initiative is a fresh move which has been under contemplation for sometime, but is very relevant from a timing perspective. However I would closely watch out for its scoping and overall envisaged roll out model since we have seen other models like take-out financing meeting limited success.
Sunil Rathi, Director, Waaree Energies
While we appreciate the Government’s focus on environmental reforms, it is imperative to focus on the solar segment as a key contributor for clean energy, which is missing from the Union Budget 2019-20. With the economic viability of the solar power coupled with the fact that conventional energy sources now have to match solar parity, it would have been heartening to see more focus on the solar segment to promote ecological stability. The infusion of INR 70,000 crores in the PSBs to stabilize the economy will in-turn benefit the NBFCs, which, in the absence of a recognized banking unit to support small – mid scale solar financing, will provide an impetus to the solar project financing. However, the invitation to foreign PV manufactures to set-shop in India, without prior stabilisation of the domestic manufacturing market, is premature and may prove to be counterproductive for the demand in the sector, which will render the NBFC financial support redundant.
Tapan Ray, MD & Group CEO, GIFT City
Today’s Union Budget announcement by Hon’ble Finance Minister has re-emphasised the importance of GIFT IFSC as an emerging Global financial services hub. The policy pronouncement regarding GIFT IFSC give a tremendous boost to investor confidence both in India and abroad.Key measures related to aircraft leasing business, reinsurance business, tax benefits, will enable significant offshore finance activities to take place from India and create jobs in the financial services industry. It will bring back billions of dollars of business which India has been losing to other competing global financial hubs.
Sanjay Aggarwal, Managing Director, Fortum India
As Fortum India proceeds in setting up fast-charging EV infrastructure in India, the reduction in GST and import duties will accelerate the deployment and usage of electric vehicles in India. We now see a lot of action in the electric mobility, charging and storage space in line with the government’s green vision, which is very encouraging for the industry.We at Fortum wish to collaboratively work with vigour towards government’s aim of having 30% electric vehicles by 2030, by continuing our investments in recycling the capital.”
Shubham Jain, Group Head & Senior Vice President, Corporate Ratings, ICRA Ltd
The capital outlay for roads, railways, and metro projects have been budgeted to increase by 12–19% in 2019-20 over the 2018-19 RE. The increased capital outlay is proposed to be supported by higher budgetary allocations in railways and metro projects, while in case of NHAI it is primarily being met by internal and extra-budgetary resources (IEBR) for roads.
Capital outlay towards some key schemes of the infrastructure sector has also been projected to increase in 2019-20 BE. The capital outlay towards PMGSY is being increased by 22.4% to Rs. 18,925 crore, that of PMKSY by 17.3% to Rs. 9,681 crore, AMRUT and Smart Cities Mission (Urban Rejuvenation) by 9.4% to Rs. 13,750 crore in 2019-20 BE over 2018-19 RE.
Vipin Sondhi, MD and CEO, JCB India Limited
The budget aims at building India’s capability across sectors. Vital amongst them is the creation of Social Infrastructure which would thus lead to an improvement in the ease of living. It has kept rural India and agriculture in focus. An allocation of Rs. 80,000 crores for rural roads, will improve connectivity and will also create opportunities for trade and employment for youth. The budget also brings to forth the thrust towards building a sustainable environment with a strong focus on water management through the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ initiative. A revival of the PPP, structural reforms in asset monetisation and a notable provision for infrastructure with improved liquidity over the next few years is welcome.