Budget 2020: What are the expectations of businessmen?

Budget 2020-21 will be presented in the lower house of the Parliament on Saturday by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Budget 2020: What are the expectations of businessmen?
Budget 2020 Expectations: Several businessmen in different fields are sharing what they expect from the Budget 2020

Budget India 2020: With Union Budget 2020 around the corner, several businessmen in different fields are sharing what they expect from the Budget of India for 2020-21. This time, even the Government of India invited suggestions of the public for consideration before the formulation of the Budget 2020. Union Budget is an annual statement of estimated expenditure and revenue of the Government of India for a particular financial year and it is presented before the Lok Sabha on the first day of February for subsequent discussion and approval. It comes into effect from April 1.

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Here’s what businessmen expect from Union Budget 2020-21:

Talking to Financial Express Online, Surendra Kumar Jaiswal, President of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI), said, “We expect the Union Budget 2020-21 to take proactive steps for boosting the hospitality sector. There is a need to recognize hotels and resorts as an industry across India and earmark a dedicated fund to compensate states for any notional losses. Furthermore, measures such as a single-window clearance mechanism for granting approvals and licenses, declaring foreign exchange and deemed foreign exchange earnings from hotels as export earnings, classifying hospitality under RBI Infrastructure lending norms and re-introducing input tax credit (GST) in case of rented premises will go a long way in attracting investments into the sector.”

Nishant Pitti, Co-Founder and CEO of EaseMyTrip, an online travel company, said, “We are hopeful that Budget 2020-21 will have a special focus on the travel sector. India is a culturally rich and diverse country with immense potential for travel and tourism. Ranked sixth globally, I feel e-visa facility should be allowed to more countries so as to encourage more foreign travellers to visit India. In my opinion, there is a need to bring in relaxation in taxes for the Indian Airline Industry considering the thin margins they work on. In addition to this, the hospitality and hotel industry can show tremendous growth if the GST on hotels is reduced. In order to promote domestic tourism and inspire people to travel more, there is a need to improve internet connectivity in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. This will ensure a growth in domestic travel while promoting the Digital India Campaign. Safety is an important factor while considering travelling to a foreign land. Lately in India, safety for foreign nationals has become a cause for concern. For this, an adequate budget should be allocated to state tourism boards to ensure the welfare and protection of tourists.”

Indroneel Dutt, the CFO of global online travel company Cleartrip, said, “We are hopeful that in Budget 2020-21, the government will resolve challenges for the aviation industry, which has already seen a tough year in 2019. For one, out of all the stakeholders in the aviation ecosystem, airlines operate with the most paper-thin margins. This, coupled with Tax collection at source (TCS), ends up hampering the working capital of airlines, giving rise to numerous operational difficulties. These obstacles are not only affecting the stakeholders and service providers but the consumers as well. We are optimistic that the government will continue to be open-minded and maintain the impetus of its past initiatives while bringing necessary reformations to further enable the travel sector.”

Varun Chadha CEO of TIRUN, the exclusive Indian representative for Royal Caribbean Cruises, said, “The government has recognized the potential of cruising as an economic multiplier and is catching up with the world in terms of policies and infrastructure. In Union Budget 2020-21, Cruise Lines are looking at the government to create a relatable tax regime, which is at par with the rest of the world.

Dentzz Dental Care Founder and CEO Shantanu Jaradi said, “The oral healthcare sector in India has gradually become one of the largest and the most emerging domains in current times. The mounting infiltration of health insurance and the rising demand for superior healthcare facilities for dentistry are among the chief elements driving this growth. To further cater to this ever-developing zone, it is expected that the upcoming Union Budget 2020-21 should focus on allocating more resources for setting up dental care centres, not just in the established regions but also in the tier-2 areas, and arm them appropriately.”

He added, “To successfully implement this strategy, there is a dire need for the government to upsurge the expenditure on the healthcare sector. Budget 2020 should aim to put in place an empowering environment that will attract capital growth, both fiscal and intellectual. Also, it is hoped that the Union Budget will make efforts to allocate capitals for more timely diagnosis and primary oral health centres along with supporting them adequately. This again is seen as a necessity that needs to be functionally addressed in Budget 2020-21. By targeting to adopt universal health insurance, the government can try and incentivize consumers through higher tax deductions for healthcare payments and insurance payouts. This will bring the government a step closer to making the healthcare sector within most people’s reach. Lastly, the government can also benefit the zone of dentistry by introducing novel revolutionary AI technologies that will offer better-quality treatments and diagnoses in an abridged time frame.”

Dr Karnika Tiwari and Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the Motherland Hospital told Financial Express Online, “The healthcare sector is looking for some promising announcements in Budget 2020. As a healthcare provider, we expect measures from the government to help widen access to affordable and quality healthcare to the margins of society. The Ayushman Bharat scheme has made significant inroads but gaps remain in primary and secondary healthcare, which must be addressed. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman must increase the budgetary allocation to healthcare and take steps to promote medical tourism as well in Union Budget 2020-21. Private hospitals like ours would be incentivized if the government makes some provisions to lower taxes and improve FDI norms. There is also a shortage of specialists which can be addressed by announcing increased seats in medical colleges or setting up new colleges.”

Praveshh Gaur, Founder and Director of fitness-wellbeing provider Srauta Wellness, said, “The Union Budget 2020 must take steps to boost startups in the country. The small and medium businesses are benefiting from the initiatives of the government in the past but gaps remain. The process of obtaining funds must be smoothened to encourage more players. Tax reforms will also be welcome to improve growth and further facilitate the Make in India campaign by drawing more entrepreneurs. We are expecting some tax concessions for startups at least for the first 3 years. The government must also take steps in Budget 2020 to improve the ease-of-business rankings and take India to the top 10 which will facilitate a more conducive environment for new ventures.”

Upma Kapoor, Founder of Teal & Terra said, “As an upcoming business venture in the beauty and skincare segment, we are looking forward to some big reforms in Union Budget 2020-21. As an entrepreneur, I hope that the government will give greater concessions for startups in the form of tax concessions and interest-free loans. Also, amid a global slowdown and in the face of stiff competition from countries like China, Indonesia, Vietnam, and others, the government must make some provisions to promote and encourage exports to the growing markets of Central/South America and Africa in Budget 2020-21. Startups are still facing several issues with regards to taxation and funding and the government can make an announcement to make the filing and compliance easier. Reforms in labour laws, especially for overtime provisions, would be a welcome move in this budget.”

Vivek Jain, Chief Business Officer of one of the leading college and career selection website, said, “Expenditure on education has been around 3% of the GDP. We are hoping that in Budget 2020-21, this amount would increase to around 5% of the GDP. If the government’s aim of becoming the education hub of the world is to be achieved, we will need more investment in education. We have seen investments in top tier institutions like IITs, NITs, IIITs, AIIMS. More seats for MBBS have been announced as well. In addition, we have seen more approvals for distance education/online courses. We look forward to specific initiatives to promote research, incentives for more collaboration between academia and industry, and investment in new-age trending technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, IoT in the upcoming Union Budget.”

Xboom Utilities is a bootstrapped e-commerce Startup on Safety and Security. Its Founder and CEO Vishal Saurav said, “India is at such a crossroad now that it can no longer keep the issue of women’s safety untended. With the rising numbers of crime against women, addressing the issue of women’s safety and security and allocating a portion of the budget in this regard is what we and other e-commerce start-ups like us who are working in the safety and security sector are expecting from Budget of India 2020-21. Lowering the GST rate on women safety products from 18% to 5% would be one way to go about it. We also expect few women safety products also get exempted from the tax altogether as safety these days is not a luxury but a necessity. The import and export duty should get a revision so that trading in international markets gets a boost. The transportation charges in the railway should see a decline too as these will cut costs and make those safety products more affordable. To promote production in India, the women safety product manufacturers should be getting special benefits from the Union Budget so that products become more affordable to the masses.”

Car rental service Avis India’s MD and CEO Sunil Gupta said, “I believe that in the Budget of India 2020-21, the government should build on its recent push towards sustainability by prioritising the growth of the EV ecosystem. This can be done by promoting the creation of a strong and well-connected charging infrastructure on a pan-India level, promoting the setting up of EV battery capacity in the country and incentivising the adoption of EVs, especially for public transport buses, fleet operator cars and 2- and 3-wheelers. The road connectivity must also be improved between major urban centres and tier-2 and tier-3 regions to bolster the growth of the travel and tourism sector.”

Jasmeet Thind, Co-Founder of e-commerce venture Coutloot told Financial Express Online, “The expectation from Budget 2020 is to help the economy recover in most sectors that have seen a smaller growth over the last few years. Apart from this, we hope India lowers its import tax on commodities so that end consumers can have access to aspirational products for cheap prices, while at the same time drive credit subsidies for small business owners and boost manufacturing, which eventually will strengthen the economic growth.”

Shopmatic is a platform that provides the entire ecosystem for anyone wanting to sell online. Its Co-Founder and CEO Anurag Avula said, “Efforts should also be channelized on aiding up-skilling, so that individual entrepreneurs, hobbyists, craftsperson and artisans are able to enhance their existing skills and better leverage the online & offline opportunities available for them to achieve success.”

Micro-lending fintech company HAPPY’s Founder and CEO Manish Khera said, “Fund availability has to be made for a conducive and supportive financial environment. This is because the lending fintechs are largely the ones that cater to the masses or to the people who are not served by the formal financial institutions. The access to liquidity has to be eased for such fintechs. Though there are many funds which are established for fintechs, the flow of money for the same has its own unique challenges. There has to be a rationalization of MAT tax rate along with the increase in the minimum threshold for tax exemption in Budget 2020-21, as many end up paying taxes despite being eligible for the tax holiday.”

Cherian M George of plantation company Harrisons Malayalam Ltd told Financial Express Online, “Commodity prices have to increase and the agricultural sector has to get higher revenue. This will boost domestic consumption. Imports of agricultural products have to be regulated with import tariff, quantitative restrictions and qualitative controls in the Union Budget for FY 2020-21. Import for export has to be monitored closely with a shorter window. The government should also focus on promoting tourism, which is low-hanging fruit. There should also be efforts to conclude the long-pending revenue to government disputes through arbitration, and collect the outstanding. Moreover, fast track courts should be appointed to speed up and conclude the criminal cases to clean up society.”

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