Budget 2020: A struggling economy, in need of boost

Budget 2020: A struggling economy, in need of boost

Representative image. (Getty images)

By Sulajja Firodia Motwani

"With falling GDP estimates and a slow-down in the economy, the Fiscal Budget 2020 is strife with speculations and expectations from the Hon’ble Finance Minister for actions to boost the Indian economy.

In my opinion, the corporate sector is struggling due to credit crunch and demand slowdown, and confidence is at an all-time low. There is a need to give strong stimulus through continued and even more aggressive export incentives policy and boost R&D through tax holidays for R&D investments. Huge funds of corporate sector are blocked in tax refunds such as GST refunds, or pre-GST CENVAT credit, or earlier sales tax regime. These dues and repayment of huge business dues from Government to companies should be released on urgent basis. Mechanism for expediting tax refunds and one time concessional tax dispute settlements will release cash flow. While repair of financial sector such as Banks, NBFC, PSUs is still underway, opening of foreign capital, esp. debt like ECBs, NCDs will help. For demand creation, more money in the hands of the consumers through lower income tax rates and abolishing capital gains tax will help.

From the Electric Vehicles sector point of view, the previous budget announced by Hon’ble Finance Minister was extremely positive for the Electric Vehicle industry.  Our expectation from the Budget 2020 is to see further reforms, incentives and infrastructure that will drive EV consumption in India. The government should consider extending the FAME – II benefit to electric bicycles which will address the issues of pollution and traffic congestion and bring green mobility to the masses. Abolishing custom duty on imports of lithium-ion battery cells and  setting GST on electric vehicles at zero percent, instead of five percent, will make EVs more affordable to the common man.  At the same time, custom duty on other EV components should be increased drastically towards a Make in India push for global leadership in EV sector.  Last year, the EV industry has witnessed considerable growth and to continue on the same trajectory, we expect continued support from the government."

(Sulajja Firodia Motwani, Founder and CEO of Kinetic Green and Vice Chairperson, Kinetic group)