Home > Budget 2019 > Opinion > Opinion | Government makes it clear that wealth creators will be respected in this country

My key takeaway from today’s budget is this one sentence, which I think summarizes the Modi government’s efforts to stimulate the economy: Wealth creators will be respected in this country! I am one of them!

I have always mentioned that Indian entrepreneurs have a tremendous capability to take risk and are a very different breed. Whatever task the government gives us we will deliver and do a world class job out of it.

The decision to set up an investment clearance cell for entrepreneurs to provide pre-investment advisory, information related to land banks and facilitate clearances is most welcome. The government’s commitment to make the tax system more transparent and hassle free is also crucial for attracting investment.

On financial sector reforms, the decision to abolish the dividend distribution tax for companies will definitely lead to an increased participation from investors, both foreign and domestic, in the Indian equity market.

The decision to determine disinvestment in public sector undertakings (PSUs) on a case-by-case basis is a good move. Strategic divestment should be, and is, a priority for this government. It has the potential to unlock significant intrinsic value of our PSUs such as the proposed initial public offering (IPO) of India’s largest insurance institution: Life Insurance Corp. of India. I have always welcomed the government’s constant focus on reducing its presence in business.

The government’s focus on startups and incentives to manufacturing and sunrise sectors will definitely give further stimulus for much needed job creation. The government’s vision for each house in the country to have water, electricity and cooking gas by 2022 is commendable and there is a very close interdependence between water, sanitation, health, nutrition, and human well-being.

We view water as a central resource for a sustainable India and the government’s thrust to provide piped water to all rural households by 2024 is really appreciable.

On social welfare schemes, Vedanta is happy to report to be a partner with the government in its national nutrition programme. Allocation of over 35,000 crore toward nutrition-related programmes for women and children was the need of the hour and will be a huge benefit to rural women of our country. Giving cellphones to more than 600,000 workers to upload data is also an interesting procedure and will be adapted by us as well.

The plan to set up a task force to raise a woman’s marriageable age is a right thought in right direction as is extremely critical for today’s forward looking women to pursue higher education and suitable careers.

We at Vedanta believe that the increase in marriageable age will definitely help lower maternity mortality rate as well as improve nutrition levels among expecting mothers. We second the finance minister’s view that one needs to see all of the above keeping in mind the age of a girl entering motherhood. Vedanta’s flagship social initiative Nandghar addresses both the issues raised by the finance minister—women’s health and the well-being of anganwadi workers—along with fighting infant mortality rate in the country.

To conclude, the government has pursued pro-growth and pro-welfare initiatives and I believe Union budget 2020 will continue to provide an impetus to economic growth and re-establish investor confidence. The government is well-positioned for a swift and efficient execution of progressive initiatives. Not only will this help bring in more capital and employment, but it will also significantly benefit the society at large and help achieve the aspirations of millions of Indians.

Anil Agarwal is the founder and chairman of Vedanta Resources.

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