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Business News/ Budget / Budget Expectations/  Budget 2024 Expectations Highlights: Housing, IT, Auto, FMCG, agriculture and other sectors share wishlist
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Budget 2024 Expectations Highlights: Housing, IT, Auto, FMCG, agriculture and other sectors share wishlist

Budget 2024 Expectations Highlights: With the Union Budget 2024 just around the corner, all eyes are on the Finance Minister's briefcase to see what it holds for various sectors crucial to India's growth and development.

Budget 2024 Expectations Highlights: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during the Halwa ceremony as the final stage preparations for the Interim Union Budget 2024 commences, in New Delhi on Wednesday (ANI)Premium
Budget 2024 Expectations Highlights: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during the Halwa ceremony as the final stage preparations for the Interim Union Budget 2024 commences, in New Delhi on Wednesday (ANI)

Budget 2024 Expectations Highlights: As anticipation builds for the upcoming Budget 2024 in India, a diverse array of sectors eagerly await FM Nirmala Sitharaman's announcements and fiscal policies that will shape their respective landscapes. From agriculture, infrastructure, and healthcare to education, finance, and manufacturing, each sector carries its own set of expectations for allocations and reforms. The fiscal agenda, these sectors collectively voice their aspirations for a budget that fosters growth, innovation, and societal well-being.

26 Jan 2024, 10:33:15 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Continued focus on fiscal consolidation, support for infrastructure, agriculture, and healthcare, says Sonam Srivastava of Wright Research

The upcoming interim budget is likely to result in strong growth potential and there are chances of continuation of focus on fiscal consolidation, according to Sonam Srivastava, Founder and Fund Manager at Wright Research.

“The upcoming Vote on Account—Interim Budget 2024 is a pivotal event for investors. Key expectations include a continued focus on fiscal consolidation to maintain investor confidence and long-term economic stability. Support for critical sectors like infrastructure, agriculture, and healthcare is anticipated to boost these areas and create jobs. Additionally, measures to address inflation and rationalise tax policies could stimulate investments and incentivize businesses, setting a positive tone for the year," Srivastava told Mint's Dhanya Nagasundaram.

26 Jan 2024, 09:54:40 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Terra Charge CEO Akihiro Ueda hopes for the continuation of product-linked incentives schemes for EV sector 

The EV sector is looking for the extension of FAME scheme subsidy and the continuation of product-linked incentives schemes for EV sector.

“As we anticipate the upcoming budget, our expectations are cautiously optimistic. Understanding that this budget is likely to be a Vote on Account due to the impending general elections, we are not expecting major policy shifts or announcements. However, we remain hopeful that the government will continue to support the EV ecosystem, which is crucial for our growth and the nation's environmental goals. The government's past initiatives, like the production-linked incentives (PLI) scheme, have given a significant boost to the industry, and we hope to see a continuation of such supportive measures. Moreover, we anticipate that the budget will maintain its trajectory towards fiscal consolidation while balancing growth orientation. As a key player in the EV industry, we look forward to initiatives that boost manufacturing and infrastructure development, which are vital for the EV sector's expansion," said Akihiro Ueda, CEO of Terra Charge.

26 Jan 2024, 09:05:58 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Govt should invest in AI to remove language barriers, says Mobikwik CEO Bipin Preet Singh

In the upcoming interim budget, the government should focus on leveraging AI to remove language barriers to increase the accessibility of fintech firms among a wider range of people. 

“Currently, English is the only language that all fintech is using, and India is a diverse country. So, due to the language barrier, many people still don’t have access to the ease of fintechs. I call for the government to come up with standardised interfaces for fintech apps made using AI that can help remove the language barrier using language models. I’m looking for investment from the government in the budget for AI that is focused on eliminating language and behavioral barriers. We need a national-level kind of mission for this, just like we did in payments with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). Since this technology doesn’t exist on a large scale in India, everybody is importing talent and technology. It would be great if this could be developed at a national level," Bipin Preet Singh told Mint's Shivangini. 

26 Jan 2024, 08:30:53 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Hemant Sood, MD of Findoc advocates for measures to be taken to control inflation

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Highlighting on rising inflation, Hemant Sood, Managing Director of Findoc, calls for measures to be taken to control rising inflation, boost infrastructure development and enhance internal growth and investments.

“With India's G20 presidency and a keen eye on becoming the 5th largest economy, maintaining fiscal stability will be crucial. Balancing tax revenue with increased spending on infrastructure and social welfare programs will be a delicate task. From the upcoming budget, we are expecting that the government will definitely opt for the policies and measures that will enhance internal growth and investments, strengthen youth by creating more job opportunities, and take corrective measures to control inflation, all while keeping the deficit in check," Sood told Mint's Pranati Deva.

26 Jan 2024, 08:06:58 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Gaurav Jalan of mPokket hopes for a strategic focus on fostering financial inclusion

The interim budget set to be presented in February by Nirmala Sitharaman, should focus on the financial inclusion innovative lending solutions for MSMEs and the Indian youth, according to Gaurav Jalan, Founder & CEO, mPokket.

“In India’s dynamic fintech landscape, 2024 promises a revival of business growth and steadfast support for advanced technologies. As the interim Budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 approaches, scheduled to be presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, 2024, we anticipate that the Interim Budget will align with the industry’s expectation for continued momentum in financial inclusion and innovative lending solutions for MSMEs and the Indian youth," said Jain.

26 Jan 2024, 07:43:06 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Gagan Anand of Scuzo Ice ‘O’ Magic calls upon the extension of ITC benefits against the 5% GST on hospitality sector

The hospitality sector is burdened by the inequity of the current TAX structure and an extension of the ITC benefits to the sector would help in giving the much needed support to the sector, said Gagan Anand, Founder and Director, Scuzo Ice ‘O’ Magic, India’s first Live popsicle concept and dessert café.

“In the dawn of the new financial year, the hospitality (specially QSR) sector stands resilient, yet burdened by the inequity of the current TAX structure. The imposition of a 5% GST without availing the Input Tax Credit (ITC) deprives our industry of rightful benefits, resulting in a scenario where both businesses and patrons bear the brunt of the full cost," said Gagan Anand.

"As we embark on this fiscal journey, we call upon the government to consider extending ITC benefits against the 5% GST. This thoughtful adjustment will not only alleviate the financial strain on the industry but also empower businesses to provide enhanced services and experiences. Let this new financial year herald a fair and symbiotic relationship between the hospitality sector and the taxation system, fostering growth and prosperity for all," he added.

26 Jan 2024, 07:11:49 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Defence, railways, and infrastructure to remain in limelight, says Apurva Sheth of SAMCO Securities

The upcoming interim budget is likely to avoid any populist measures, whereas the government will continue to focus on sectors like defence, railways and infrastructure, according to Apurva Sheth, Head of Market Perspectives and Research.

“The key themes of defence, railways, and infrastructure development are likely to remain in the limelight during the Budget. Allocation towards these pet themes of the Modi government is likely to remain higher in this interim Budget," Seth told Mint's Pranati Deva.

26 Jan 2024, 06:50:34 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Pramod Amthe, Head Of Institutional Equity Research at InCred Capital hints of muted allocation for the infra sector

Pramod Amthe, Head Of Institutional Equity Research at InCred Capital anticipates reduction in the allocation for the infra sector in the Budget. However, there could be announcements for the next five years which can provide the roadmap for the sector. He also indicated that the government can focus on the EV sector, defence, new energy incentives, etc.

“In defence, we expect spending to touch nearly 2 per cent of FY25F GDP, representing nearly 13 per cent of total government expenditure," Amthe told Mint's Nishant Kumar.

26 Jan 2024, 06:33:45 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Indian women angry over inflation, wait for relief from high prices 

Ahead of the presentation of interim budget, a lot of people are hoping for some announcement to curb rising food inflation. In one of Mint's vox pop video, women expressed their anger over rising food inflation.  

26 Jan 2024, 06:13:33 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Axis Securities anticipates 10-15% growth in government capex in BFSI sector

The brokerage firm Axis Securities anticipates that the banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) sector is likely to get a 10%–15% growth in government capital expenditures in FY25. The government set the capex target at 10 Lc Cr for the most recent fiscal year (FY24). 

During the upcoming interim budget, public infrastructure development, including roads, water, metro, trains, defence, digital insurance, etc, will remain a top priority for the government. 

26 Jan 2024, 05:24:49 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Life insurance industry needs a distinct tax deduction limit, says Pankaj Gupta, MD & CEO, Pramerica Life Insurance

Pointing out towards the long drawn demand of the insurance sector for a distinct tax deduction limit, Pankaj Gupta, MD and CEO, Pramerica Life Insurance, said, “The life insurance industry has been requesting for a distinct tax deduction limit, specifically for life insurance, with a special emphasis on the term insurance category, apart from the existing 80C provisions. This would serve as an incentive for individuals to invest in life insurance policies and promote a sense of long-term security."

He also urged the government to re-look at the taxation framework surrounding Pension and Annuity Products.

“An extension of the current 50,000 tax exemption, applicable to the National Pension Scheme under Section 80CCD(1B), to encompass pension and annuity plans offered by insurance companies, could make retirement planning more attractive and accessible, encouraging individuals to opt for insurance-based pension and annuity products. These changes would also create a more level playing field, fostering healthy competition within the industry," he added.

 

26 Jan 2024, 05:00:12 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Navjivan Health Services CEO Monica Sood calls for dedicated budget allocation for rural healthcare

With a range of challenges faced by the rural healthcare sector related to feasability, transportation, accessibility, etc, it is the high-time for the central government to introduce a dedicated budget for rural areas, believes Dr. Monica B Sood, CEO & Managing Director at Navjivan Health Services

“In the grand tapestry of healthcare, allocating a dedicated budget for rural areas is not just a matter of equity but a strategic imperative. Rural communities often face unique challenges that necessitate tailored solutions, making it crucial to recognize the significance of specific financial allocations for rural healthcare. Redirecting significant funds to rural areas is a strategic investment in the nation's overall well-being. By prioritizing education and medical facilities in rural regions, we create a foundation for self-sufficiency. Well-educated healthcare professionals equipped with state-of-the-art tools can turn rural areas into hubs of health and well-being," said Dr. Monica B Sood.

26 Jan 2024, 04:38:16 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Textile ministry to get a marginal hike in the upcoming budget

The upcoming interim budget will introduce a marginal hikein allocations for the textile ministry. The ministry is likely to get a marginal increase of 2.5% in its budget allocation for fiscal year 2024-25, Mint's Dhirendra Kumar reported citing sources familiar with the matter. The ministry had received 4,389 crore allocation for the current fiscal year.

26 Jan 2024, 03:59:30 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Need for strategic resource allocation in logistics sector to adapt market dynamics, says Nishith Rastogi, CEO Locus

Nishith Rastogi, Founder, and CEO of Locus, supports the strategic resource allocation by the central government in the logistics sector for better adaptation of market dynamics.

“As we approach the 2024 Union Budget, the focus for India's logistics sector is clear: a forward-looking budget that champions technological integration and robust infrastructure development. Initiatives like PM Gati Shakti and the National Logistics Policy have marked significant strides in this direction. Now, with the industry poised at a critical juncture, continued government support is essential to empower innovation and aid startups in adapting to this evolving landscape," said Rastogi.

"Beyond just infrastructure enhancements and tax reforms, there's a need for strategic resource allocation that adapts to market dynamics, including fuel price fluctuations and supply chain disruptions. By investing in technology and aligning with global digitalization and sustainability standards, we aim to not only mitigate current challenges but also position India at the forefront of a tech-driven, efficient logistics sector globally," he added.

26 Jan 2024, 03:39:20 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: What are the tax benefits expected in the upcoming interim budget?

In the upcoming interim budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is likely to announce certain benefits for the tax payers.

“The upcoming Union Budget presents an opportunity to address lingering concerns and set the stage for future economic growth. It is most likely that this budget would prioritise fiscal discipline and avoid populist measures," said Archit Gupta, Founder, and CEO, of ClearTax.

There are chances that the Finance Ministry will ease TDS compliance for home buyers, simplify capital gains tax, and changes in HRA deductions.

26 Jan 2024, 02:36:36 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Tapan Sangal of Mai Labs calls for reconsideration of tax system for virtual digital asset industry

For the the development of virtual digital asset industry in India, Tapan Sangal, Founder, Mai Labs Pvt Ltd, advocated for the reconsideration of the taxation system and fostering a regulatory environment. 

“From the budget to be announced soon, our trust in government extends to urging a reconsideration of the taxation system for the virtual digital asset industry, fostering a regulatory environment that optimally harnesses technological innovation. Blockchain, with its potential to end fraud and empower organizations across industries like finance, healthcare, supply chains, and the arts can bring an opportunity to showcase blockchain's potential for regulatory support and public comprehension," Tapan Sangal said.

26 Jan 2024, 02:08:39 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Real estate sector calls fro GST rationalisation

“As we approach the Interim Budget for 2024-25, I strongly advocate for the government to accord industry status to the real estate sector, a move that could significantly boost its growth trajectory. Implementing measures such as single window clearance, tax breaks, and GST rationalisation are imperative to foster a conducive environment for real estate development. Specifically focusing on affordable housing through policy impetus and fiscal support can not only revive the sector but also address the pressing housing gap. In this budget, I anticipate key reforms including infrastructure status for affordable housing, lower GST rates, and a simplified taxation structure for REITs, all of which will stimulate demand and attract crucial investments. Moreover, prioritizing transparency through debt restructuring options, improved credit availability, and digitization initiatives will fortify the sector's resilience in the post-pandemic era," Nilesh Tribhuvann, Founder & Managing Partner, White & Brief, Advocates & Solicitors, said.

26 Jan 2024, 02:02:27 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Realty sector demands support for affordable housing

“The Interim Union Budget can play a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of the real estate sector in 2024 and beyond, particularly through enhancing support for affordable housing. To this end, measures such as increased limits for tax deductions for home loans, implementation of interest subsidy scheme for urban housing and substantial increase in amount to categorize them under affordable homes especially in Metros and larger cities could potentially be game changers for the industry. We also believe that by embracing technology for streamlined processes and digitization of land records can enhance the overall efficiency of the housing finance industry," Deepak Patkar, CEO, SMFG Grihashakti, said.

26 Jan 2024, 02:00:30 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: BFSI sector calls for policy changes

“The Union Budget that lies ahead has far-reaching implications beyond being another normal budget. It has the power to spark transformative change within India's BFSI sector (Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance). As I look ahead, I firmly believe that the impending policies must prioritize integration of fintech, utilizing measures like streamlined regulations and tax incentives for leveraging our digital infrastructure in a far better way. More than ever, emphasis must be placed on advancing digital proficiency in the workforce, enabling us to fully unleash the potential of AI, blockchain, and automation," Nanda Kumar, Founder & CEO, SunTec Business Solutions, said.

26 Jan 2024, 01:59:16 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Digital-First approach

“The digital-first approach by the Govt is a remarkable step in ensuring a quicker resolution and service delivery of public services and initiatives. Aadhar and UPI services are a great testament to this. Now it’s time to take a step further and bring citizen-centric services into the ambit of digital public infrastructure (DPI). We recommend a comprehensive digital strategy that ensures robustness, application reliability and accountability around the build, test, validation and uptime of the applications across the entire digital public infrastructure (DPI)," Srirang Srikantha, Founder & CEO, Yethi Consultancy, said.

26 Jan 2024, 01:38:14 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Consumer electronic Industry calls for 

“Tax benefits, reduced tax rates, and an extension of the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) tax reforms for startups are further anticipated developments. Considering the current state of the Indian economy's recovery, the Union Budget 2024–25 would be crucial to the Consumer Electronics industry, acting as a possible impetus for its successful rebirth. Large manufacturing companies and micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs and SMEs) are looking forward to the upcoming budget because they believe it will help them continue on their current growth trajectory," Mandeep Arora, Managing director & co-founder, UBON, said.

26 Jan 2024, 01:28:29 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Expert call for reducing the GST charge on essential materials such as steel, cement, aluminium

“The government's commitment to heavy investments in infrastructure projects, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, is expected to boost the nationwide infrastructure. However, the increase in the price of raw materials such as cement, concrete, steel, etc. is impacting its rapid progress. As we anticipate the upcoming budget, it becomes imperative to address these rising costs strategically, ensuring that the national infrastructure development continues at a fast pace and aligns with international standards. Similarly, in the real estate sector, the rise in property prices, attributed to increasing construction material costs and repo rates, has significantly impacted housing demand," Aparna Reddy, Executive Director, AEL, said.

“Reducing the GST charge on essential materials such as steel, cement, aluminium and bringing the petroleum products such as Natural Gas, Diesel under GST and bringing petroleum products such as Natural Gas and Diesel under GST will relieve pressure on developers and contractors driving infrastructure growth in full swing. This will propel consumer demand in the real estate segment as well. Moreover, the government should encourage and foster domestic production of building materials that will bolster the self-reliance agenda and generate employment opportunities. A robust domestic production ecosystem will ensure a stable supply chain, ultimately benefiting the entire industry. Further, it is equally imperative to invest in research and development of eco-friendly construction materials and technologies to reduce the environmental impact caused by construction materials. Incentivizing the companies that adhere to eco-friendly norms with favourable policies will drive innovation in this critical area," Reddy, said.

26 Jan 2024, 01:24:51 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: A policy reform of lower GST for small-scale coworking clients can anticipate participation of more startups

“Though the global economy continues to face headwinds posing challenges for the economic outlook with high interest rates, reducing employment and inflation. Multiple war fronts across the world also threatens supply chain efficiency. However, India continues to prove its resilience by emerging as the fastest growing economy with the expected growth rate of 6.8% to 7.0%. With this backdrop the union budget in the coming week is expected to be progressive to help sustain the growth momentum and allocation of resources for the mega infrastructure projects," Pratyush Pandey, CEO , Upflex India, said.

“The Indian real estate sector that has been exhibiting superior results consecutively, still await patiently for the finance minister’s announcement. The industry status for real estate and single window clearance for approvals have always featured in the list. The new age segment of coworking spaces is growing impressively. A policy reform of lower GST for small-scale coworking clients can anticipate participation of more startups in this industry, thereby generating employment," Pandey added.

“An increased tax deduction for home loans under section 24 and upward revision of the standard deduction are anticipated to stimulate the demand for residential real estate across the country. Any additional fund in the hands of the consumer is likely to propel consumption across the segments, thereby adding to the economic expansion," according to Pandey.

26 Jan 2024, 12:47:22 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Healthcare sector calls for focus on Ayurveda

“With the constant evolution in the modern healthcare sector, Ayurveda has become a fundamental pillar as 80–90% of Indians depend on it for their primary healthcare needs. We expect the government to give more financial support to facilitate the integration of more Ayurveda Acharyas into the healthcare system and invest in creating more Ayurvedic colleges like All Indian Institutes of Ayurveda, Rashtriya Ayurveda Vidyapeeth, the Institute of Teaching & Research in Ayurveda, and many more," Naman Dhamija, MD and Founder of Dharishah Ayurveda said. 

“Supporting these institutions with greater financial support is essential for advancing education, research, and the overall development of Ayurveda. Apart from this, we have seen the emergence of new-age Ayurvedic brands in the changing landscape. Therefore we expect the government to implement policies that offer sustainable tax incentives to support their expansion. Additionally, allocating funds towards research and development is important, as it enables the publication of comprehensive case studies and whitepapers, enriching the Ayurvedic knowledge base and advancing science. Ayurvedic experts consider the 2024 budget as an opportunity for a healthy and sustainable ecosystem, contributing not only to individual health but also to the nation's growth, while preserving the ancient spirit of therapeutic tradition," he added.

26 Jan 2024, 12:45:20 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Expert calls for focus on employment keeping AI in mind

“All eyes are on India for the economic growth that is expected to scale the foreign investments in the country. Being the last budget of the 2nd term of the current Govt, we do expect massive reforms and initiatives for transformative, massive and sustainable future socio-economic growth," Sumit Kumar, Chief Strategy Officer, TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, said.

"The "Skill India", "make in India" , "PLI", "Ayush", Infrastructure development", NEP", "Gift City" and 'Digital University" initiatives have led to enhancing skilling and education ecosystem; and employment generation. Considering the future jobs will be influenced by AI, we need to scale the reforms and initiatives to support the expected GDP of 7% and beyond to prepare India achieve $30 trillion economy by 2050," Kumar said.

"First and foremost, we need immediate reform in the Apprenticeship Act, which the Finance Minster has been referring to in last 2 budgets. We need more simplified system which is currently fragmented. Second, quota to be revised to 25% for organization that are contributing to net zero carbon emissions and hiring women apprentices. This is good for inclusive and sustainable growth," he further added.

26 Jan 2024, 12:42:36 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Salaried employees demands

“In 2024, significant salary increases are being planned for employees by Indian companies, despite the global economic slowdown. An approximately 9.8% salary bump is expected for employees, building on the noteworthy 10% increase observed in 2023," Uday Chawla, Managing Partner, TRANSEARCH India, said. 

“However, the optimistic outlook for salaried leaders is met with a challenge due to the high-income tax policies in India. Personal income tax, ranging from 5% to 37%, and additional charges contribute to a notable tax burden. In contrast, countries like Hong Kong (15%), Sri Lanka (18%), and Singapore (22%) feature more favourable tax systems, rendering them attractive for top-tier talent. As we now transition to remote working and the globalization of businesses, there is a tangible threat that senior talent may be attracted to relocate to countries that offer the most efficient tax structures and a superior work-life quality and balance," Chawla, said.

26 Jan 2024, 12:34:35 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Insurance industry's demand

“Experts in the insurance industry are pushing for significant adjustments in taxation, regulation, and technology in the budget. They support lowering the deductibility limits to provide tax benefits on life insurance products, especially term plans. One proposal is to lower the GST rate on insurance premiums. To improve affordability, another is to remove taxes from annuity returns to increase their appeal. A composite licence, a relaxation of the minimum capital requirements, and the promotion of microinsurance for low-income populations are among the regulatory expectations. Support for InsurTech businesses and a cybersecurity emphasis are sought in the technology sphere to encourage innovation and guard against cyber dangers, ultimately encouraging ubiquitous, inventive, and affordable insurance," Tejas Jain, Founder of BimaKavach - Insurance, said.

26 Jan 2024, 12:31:53 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Real Estate sector's demand

“The real estate industry stands as a cornerstone in India's economic growth, emerging as one of the largest employment-generating sectors. The government should consider augmenting allocations for infrastructure projects to propel real estate growth in urban areas," Amit Mishra, Co-Founder of 91Squarefeet - Real Estate, said. 

“Additionally, implementing a unified GST solution for real estate developers, enabling them to claim input tax credits for all construction materials, would not only lead to a reduction in property prices but also enhance transparency throughout the supply chain. Moreover, there is a pressing need to incentivize financial institutions to create a more conducive financing environment for both real estate developers and contractors. These measures would serve as catalysts for expediting real estate projects and fostering infrastructure development," Mishra said.

26 Jan 2024, 12:29:29 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: NBFC demands from the budget

“A need for policy support, like enhancing credit guarantee schemes, providing liquidity support, and revisiting the RBI's lending architecture, is required. The government must move beyond rhetoric and actively implement measures to strengthen MSMEs. The credit gap, especially in the universe of enterprises with turnovers ranging from 15 lakhs to 15 crores, stands at a staggering 85,00,000 crores. For sustainable growth, a continuous injection of liquidity is imperative. While regulatory narratives have emphasized co-lending and banks refrain from lending directly to NBFCs, it's crucial to acknowledge that smaller and medium-sized NBFCs play a significant role in credit dissemination, particularly to the underserved," Shachindra Nath, Founder & Managing Director, U GRO Capital, said.

“Emphasizing the formalization of MSMEs post-demonetization, GST, and digitization, the challenge now lies in ensuring access to credit for these entities. The government's role in providing sovereign guarantees for deserving NBFCs, unlocking private equity support, and fostering a robust credit ecosystem is pivotal. As we delve into the budget discussions, let's move beyond aspirations and translate them into tangible policies that fortify the backbone of our economy – the MSMEs," Nath.

26 Jan 2024, 12:15:34 PM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Focus on Mental Health

“This year also, we are expecting a well-rounded and adequately funded mental health budget for 2024-2025 as it will not only address the current mental health challenges but also lay the foundation for a resilient and mentally healthy society. Since the mental health landscape is evolving, therefore it is crucial that our budgetary allocations reflect the growing importance of mental well-being in our society," Jyoti Kapoor, Founder & Director, Manasthali, said.

“The acceptance of mental health as a necessary aspect of health still needs to be highlighted through awareness and educational programs for the masses. We recommend a substantial increase in funding for mental health services, including awareness programs, outpatient care, counseling, and community-based programs. This will help bridge the existing gaps in access to mental health resources and ensure that individuals in need can readily avail themselves of essential services," Kapoor added.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has already highlighted the effectiveness and accessibility of telehealth services. Allocating resources to expand and improve telehealth infrastructure for mental health consultations will enhance access for individuals in remote or underserved areas, ultimately reducing disparities in mental health care. As prevention is a key aspect of mental health care. Allocating funds to develop and implement educational, early intervention and prevention programs in schools, workplaces, and communities will contribute to reducing the overall burden of mental health issues and fostering a healthier population," according to Kapoor.

26 Jan 2024, 10:22:30 AM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Healthcare sector calls for a 5% GDP allocation, rural healthcare Boost, and global collaboration

“In the last Union Budget, the overall impetus for the healthcare delivery sector was missing. We are hoping that this will get addressed in the upcoming Union Budget with an increase in budget allocation to a minimum 5% of the GDP which is essential to fulfill the need gaps," Azad Moopen, Chairman and MD, Aster DM Healthcare, said.

Expanding Healthcare Access

“There is a need to have more hospitals and healthcare facilities in rural and suburban areas to meet the rising demand given that Ayushman Bharat is aiming to make affordable healthcare accessible for 500 million people. Hope the government will put more focus on public-private partnerships (PPP) to address this, and also permit 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in both Health Insurance and Retail Pharmacy sectors," Moopen added.

NRI Concessions

“We were also hoping for concessions for NRIs residing abroad like reduction on TDS for those who have a source of income in India and are required to pay taxes in the country they reside in. Other considerations include affordable airline fares to SAARC and GCC countries to support the growing trade and business collaborations between the regions, along with the implementation of a health scheme for those returning to India for retirement, among other beneficial measures," he opined.

26 Jan 2024, 10:17:10 AM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Dairy company raises concerns over increasing feed and other raw material costs

“The Indian dairy sector is set to grow by 6% by 2024. Dairy is one of India’s largest agricultural commodities, accounting for about 5% of the national economy and directly engaging over 8 crore farmers. India is a proud leader in the world milk production market, but there are issues facing our sector, especially with rising feed and other raw material costs that lower yields. We hope that these important issues will be addressed in the upcoming budget, which will include policies that lessen the impact of growing production costs while also maintaining growth momentum. A well-thought-out and encouraging budget would surely strengthen the cornerstone of our dairy industry, guaranteeing a strong and prosperous future for the sector and the millions of farmers it supports," Ravin Saluja, director, Nova Dairy.

26 Jan 2024, 09:38:12 AM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Alcobec sector demands

Alcoholic liquor for human consumption is outside the purview of GST. However, State Governments levy Excise & VAT on the same, as per Vikram Kulkarni, Partner, Indirect Tax, BDO India.

 

Kulkarni said that the alcobev industry is looking forward to the Union Budget 2024 and expecting measures which would be beneficial to industry. Some of the pressing issues affecting the Industry are as under:

 

1. The GST council in its 52nd meeting on 7 October 2023 had approved exclusion of Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA) from GST. However, the government has not issued any notification to grant this exemption. The industry eagerly awaits the same as it would help reduce the costs to large extent.

 

2. The industry has been demanding for a long time to include alcoholic liquor for human consumption, under the GST purview. This would bring this industry at par with the other industries and also reduce the cost burden on account of non availability of ITC on inward supplies.

26 Jan 2024, 09:36:49 AM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: AutoTech sector demands

“We anticipate the budget will introduce measures to promote and incentivize the evolving space of ‘road safety solution providers’.  We look forward to the Union Budget 2024 as an opportunity for the government to reinforce its dedication to technological progress and road safety," Durgadutt Nedungadi, Senior VP at Netradyne, said.

26 Jan 2024, 09:35:14 AM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: FMCG calls for allocations for  infrastructure, rural initiatives, and the agricultural sector

“The Union budget for 2024-2025 should reaffirm two major goals, increasing government investment in infrastructure and increasing consumer demand by placing more money in consumers' hands," Mayank Shah, Vice-President, Parle Products, said.

“Almost all FMCG companies are seeing slowdown in rural demand. It has been muted over the past quarter. Hence to increase demand in these areas, more funding should be allocated to infrastructure, rural initiatives, and the agricultural sector. This will result in job creation and boost in consumer spending. We anticipate that in order to resurrect consumer demand, the government will put more money in the hands of consumers; this can likely be achieved by lowering taxes or raising tax slabs," Shah added.

“In addition, we anticipate granting incentives to businesses that offer healthier options to consumers. In line with the government's initiative of promoting millets, the government should further encourage companies to launch healthier options containing millets. Currently products containing more than 75% millet are subject to lower GST. Similarly more incentives, however, will motivate businesses to switch to creating healthier products," according to Shah.

26 Jan 2024, 09:08:41 AM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Tax expert call for deductions under new tax regime

“Most Indian taxpayers have the habit of initially investing their savings in investment avenues that provide tax deductions under Section 80C (i.e. INR 1,50,000). Additionally, the salaried class claims exemptions such as HRA, LTA and housing loan deductions. For an individual earning a salary income of INR 10 Lakhs, the old regime is more favourable in case exemptions/deductions exceed 2,50,000. This situation applies to most taxpayers leading to acceptance of the New Tax Regime (NTR)," Preeti Sharma, Partner, Tax & Regulatory Services, BDO India, said.

“The New Tax Regime provides favourable results for taxpayers up to an income level of 7,50,000. To increase acceptance for NTR, the government should allow deductions under this regime, for say employee’s contribution to PF (under Section 80C) and employee’s contribution to NPS (under Section 80CCD). This would also promote the habit of building a retirement corpus for individuals," Sharma added.

26 Jan 2024, 08:21:37 AM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: HRA and interest deductions for home-buyers

“We anticipate the interim budget to have some buyer-focused announcements to boost retail demand - India's housing market had a windfall year in 2023, but retail buyers continued to face challenges finding fair value in this asset class and the government needs to relook at increasing the limit on some of the incentives given to home-buyers as part of our tax laws such as HRA and interest deductions," Shrey Aeren, Managing Director & Country Head, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Orenda India, said.

“On the supply front, we are seeing India’s biggest infrastructure push since independence, which has substantially boosted residential as well as commercial real estate demand with new cities being planned adjacent to existing metros such as Third Mumbai outside Mumbai and KHIR City in Bengaluru. We expect the full budget in July to continue providing the necessary impetus through policy and fiscal allocation," Aeren added.

26 Jan 2024, 08:17:14 AM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Agricultural sector calls for allocation focused on education and research

"The budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, encompassing Agricultural Education and Research, in the Union Budget 2023-24 amounted to approximately 1.25 lakh crore. Anticipating the upcoming budget, continuity in the allocation amount is expected, with no significant deviations," CA Aditya Sesh, Member of the Expert Committee in the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare opined.

“These micro-level adaptations may include reallocations for initiatives such as crop insurance, the introduction of new seed varieties, and strategies to mitigate fluctuations in fertilizer availability. In light of the election season, it is also reasonable to anticipate adjustments to the Minimum Support Price (MSP), particularly for key commodities such as wheat and rice. There is a likelihood of an upward revision in the allocation for crop insurance," he further added.

“Notably, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi will see an increase to 8000 per year as minimum income support. This is because the GDP growth has been better than expected which gives the government the headroom to contain the Fiscal deficit," Sesh said.

26 Jan 2024, 08:14:55 AM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Semiconductor sector calls for AI push

“In this dynamic landscape, we encourage policies that bolster indigenous semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem. The announcements by global players to invest in Gujarat highlight the sector's potential and the need for a conducive policy environment. We believe that the budget should be a catalyst for nurturing innovation, research, and skill development, particularly in frontier technologies like artificial intelligence, 5G/6G networks and renewable energy," Vivek Tyagi, Managing Director, Analog Devices Inc India, said.

“As the world embraces the integration of 5G technologies, AI-enabled solutions and sustainable practices, we look to the budget to provide a strategic framework that not only navigates current challenges but also sets the stage for India's emergence as a global technology and innovation hub. In essence, the forthcoming budget represents a pivotal opportunity for India to fortify its position on the global stage, and Analog Devices Inc remains committed to contributing to this transformative journey," Tyagi added.

 

26 Jan 2024, 08:13:19 AM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: What is IT sector's wishlist?

“We expect the government to allocate more funding towards developing a robust and secure IT ecosystem in the country. The government has already introduced several initiatives to promote the growth of the IT and ITES sector, such as the National Policy on Software Products and the Innovation Fund for Women Entrepreneurs. More funding allocated for this will ensure training and mentorship opportunities; we hope to see more women-led start-ups emerge as key players in the industry. Additionally, there should be an Innovation Fund for AI Innovations that can promote the development of cutting-edge technologies and platforms that can accelerate digital transformation across various sectors, including health, finance, and education. We urge the government to invest in research and development and provide incentives for AI start-ups to thrive and innovate," Srividya Kannan, Founder and CEO, Avaali Solutions, said.

26 Jan 2024, 07:43:21 AM IST

Budget 2024 Expectations LIVE: Auto sector

Gyanendra Tripathi, Partner & Leader, Western Region, Indirect Tax, BDO India: "The automotive sector currently has the most complex tax structure with multiple customs duties (ranging from 7.5 percent to 100 percent basic customs; GST ranging from 12 to 28 percent and Compensation cess ranging from 0 to 22 percent). Some level of rate rationalization is expected to reduce the interpretative issues and litigations. The Electric Vehicles (EVs) industry has been representing for a reduction in the GST rate on parts/ components used in the manufacture of EVs (attracting GST at 18 percent / 28 percent) as well as on batteries (leviable to 18 percent GST) to 5 percent. This would address the current issue of the accumulation of input tax credits (ITC) by EV manufacturers. In addition, the EV industry is also looking for an extension of FAME subsidies, clarity of tax treatment on EV charging, eligibility of ITC on setting up of the charging stations, and a GST rate reduction on entry-level two-wheelers. Lastly, the auto component manufacturers are looking for a uniform tax rate on the parts, ideally, 18 percent, to avoid disputes arising from differential rates of tax.

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