2016 is a year that witnessed demonetisation, a move that has been described by many as a historic and radical reform while others, particularly the Opposition, have slammed it for the inconveniences it caused to the common man. Rooting out black money and terror financing being its key objectives, the admirable fact is that the common man dealt with hardships and extended support to the success of this drive. In the wake of such a radical reform, all eyes are now on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget 2017.
According to Vikas Srivastava, Tax Partner at Luthra & Luthra, the Narendra Modi government has brought about a “big change, huge effort” in facilitating ease of business and making it conductive for companies to invest in India. However, much needs to be done in this regard.
“This is not a Make or Break Budget, ïn my opinion,” Vikas Srivastava adds.
You May Also Like To Watch This:
“Historically, the hurdles to ease of business in India have been due to the system of administration and bureaucracy in our country – which we can trace back to the British era and it is unfortunately, one that we inherited even after so many decades of Independence. From politicians to top bureacrats, the reality is that it takes time to go down to the lowest level. Let’s face it – the DNA within the system cannot be changed overnight or in an year’s time. Also, this government inherited legacy issues, therefore, change happens gradually. The good news is that this Government has made great progress and as a result, corporates have been taking up issues directly with the government and engaging pro-actively which was not happening earlier. This itself is a positive sign and an indicator that ease of doing business is gradually going to become a reality.”
However, not everyone shares the same view that the Government has done a great job in terms of making ease of business a reality.
N. Venkataraman, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court says, “The government apparatus has not matched with our expectations – perhaps due to the lack-lustre global scenario having an impact on India. After all, you can’t calibrate the global scenario sitting in India. To make ease of business a reality in India requires a quantum leap in mindset change and that can happen very slowly, not immediately.”
While experts share mixed views about their expectations of Union Budget 2017-18, what matters most is whether Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will be able to bring smiles on the faces of every Indian – ultimately, the Budget goes way beyond presenting numbers or data – it has to resonate with the people too!