Sunil Kant Munjal, Joint MD, Hero MotoCorp
It is a very well designed Budget — at least it gives a sense in which direction we are moving. It also gives an idea that it is creating more predictability in regulations, laws and rules.
The finance minister also focused on reallocating resources in areas which need them the most — areas which are either promotional or in areas where the government has its eyeballs set. But as in anything in life, the key will be about implementation.
There were also a bunch of things that would help in building the economy — things are more definitive like there are specifics on a set of implementation plan for GST and announcing a road-map for fiscal consolidation, including moving the terminal date back by a year.
I like the idea that Jaitley is admitting that he might not be able to do it in the prescribed time, but he will use the resources for capital spent which is what the economy needs right now, and which is what the industry has been asking for.
So overall, the finance minister has focused on a number of areas which will have a positive salutary impact on the citizens of India, on industry and the economy of India.
The Budget is a much more realistic one, and also a smart one. It has been smartly done.
It is well balanced, with much larger resources being allocated to the state, but at the same time he has still managed to up his spend in areas critical to the system.
On the manufacturing side we (industry) have been asking for three things — focus on ease of doing business; setting up businesses, operating businesses and shutting businesses — so the finance minister talked of those.
The finance minister also talked of setting up a bankruptcy law to shut down businesses. I am yet to see the fine print on that, but I know that it is clearly on the government’s radar.
The government also needs to look into areas of infrastructure and logistics, which needs to be improved. That would help in making manufacturing easier. Today the logistics cost and the intermediation cost is very high in manufacturing, which makes India less competitive than other countries.
One area which is perhaps not directly related to the Budget, but where we would like to see some announcement is on labour regulation, which needs to be such that it encourages hiring. It should encourage employment and allow flexibility on training and re-training of people, because skill sets are changing.
The finance minister did talk about skills and creating a fund for those who do not have an education. The skill and employment as a combined initiative is a very good one as well.