By Pawan Munjal, Chairman & CEO, Hero MotoCorp
The finance minister has heralded a new dawn with the first budget of the Amrit Kaal, leading up to India@100. The Budget does a very good job of balancing fiscal prudence with inclusive growth. Focus on the continued enhancement of capital expenditure, and investments in long-term priorities, coupled with increasing disposable income in the hands of consumers through direct tax proposals ensure a boost to consumption concurrent to investment-led growth.
The stability of the policies, direction, and vision, as displayed through the Budget on Wednesday, will help the country continue to be a preferred investment destination. The investment focus on the ‘Saptarshi’ (seven priority areas of the government), particularly urban infrastructure, will help develop tier 2 and 3 cities to participate in the growth of ‘Bharat’ and the overall economic growth of 7%. Overall, as India continues on its economic growth trajectory, the Budget will further accelerate its momentum.
The government’s focus on sustainability, green growth, and technology is visible through various efforts. From Centres of Excellence for AI (artificial intelligence), to sustainable ecosystem developments, emphasis and promotion of battery storage systems and scrapping older polluting vehicles.
The seven priority areas laid down by the honourable finance minister on Wednesday, clearly outline the government’s long-term vision towards inclusive and balanced growth. This is evident through the balancing of old and new industries, traditional and tech sectors, rural and urban economy, fiscal prudence, and growth.
Infrastructure, investment, and reaching the last mile has been elucidated through the `20-trillion agri-credit support that will power the rural economy into high gear. The `10-trillion capital investment outlay will also aid growth and job creation for the youth.
The auto sector will also stand to benefit from the various policy initiatives announced in the Budget. The focus on capital expenditure, agri-credit, infra-development credit, and lower tax slabs should ensure consumers have higher disposable income and, thus, boost sales.
However, as I have said before, there is a clear case for reducing the GST slab from 28% to 18% for the two-wheeler category, which has been adversely impacted over the past few years. I urge the GST council to take this up since this segment is an income multiplier and its growth will boost the economy.
Unleashing the potential of the nation through trust-based governance, forward-looking financial sector reforms, and programmes for the youth, the government is committed to ensuring India’s significance in the global economic scenario.