The budget lacked a larger vision: FICCI

The budget lacked a larger vision: FICCI

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addresses a press conference after presenting the Union Budget 2019-20, in New Delhi on Friday. PTI photo

Start-ups, MSMEs and income-tax policies dominated the live budget discussion held on Friday at the World Trade Centre. It was conducted by the Karnataka chapter of FICCI. 

While the panellists applauded the comprehensive layout of budget 2019, they pointed out that some important issues were left untouched.

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"The focus on transparency in income tax is welcome. Ease of paying tax is really important if you want to increase collections and it's good to see the government has attached significance to it, said Ishwar Subramanian- Advisor on strategy to BEML.

On budget pronouncements on Angel tax, Naganand Doraswamy, Founder and Managing Director at IdeaSpring Capital said, "Angel tax going away is a big thing, we just need to figure out what e-filing is, and hopefully that would be easy. The fact that they have proposed setting up a National Research Foundation is important because that will consolidate what funding can be given, and will be a central place where you could go to get funds on innovation and research."

The budget lacked a larger vision, said Anand Sudarshan, former CEO of Manipal Education Group. "While the good part is that education was covered, it was surprising that healthcare was completely ignored except for one reference to Ayushmaan Bharat. It's good to have National Research Foundation consolidating all funding, but I hope it is set up on the lines of National Science Foundation in the US, where researchers have to apply for funds, competing with others and are assessed independently, with no discrimination between public and private institutions," Sudarshan said.

"The biggest challenge that India is facing today, is the refinancing of banks. Allocating Rs 70,000 crore to the sector is, therefore, a very positive move, but it needs to be seen how the bank and the sector use it, said Indraneel Roy Choudhury, member of the Governance Board of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC India).

Ullas Kamath, Joint Managing Director, Jyothy Laboratories said, "From an industry perspective, we were looking at major reforms to attract investment in the country, which were not mentioned in the speech. Also, whether we admit it or not, the economic slowdown is real, I was hoping that the Finance Minister would boldly admit there's is a slowdown and we need to fix that but there was no sign of it. There was no direct mention of job creation either."