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Budget earns bouquets
People representing different fields of trade, education and commerce welcomed the Union Budget of the NDA government. Mostly, people who carved a niche for themselves in varied fields hailed the Budget for packing it with a slew of measures to shore up the economy, which has been badly dented by the Covid pandemic
Growth-oriented Budget, says Ramakanth Inani, President, FTCCI. He said that Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharaman has presented the third Budget of this term and first Budget of 2021 decade amidst lot of expectations and hope among various sections of the society.
To give a boost to infrastructure creation, the allocation for capital expenditure is increased by 34.5% to 5.5 lakh crore compared to previous budget, mainly for roads and railways. This will help create large number of employment opportunities and demand generation for goods and services. The announcement of Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana with Rs 2 lakh crore for health sector is welcome measure as it help strengthen health infrastructure at various levels – primary, secondary and tertiary health institutions.
Somasundaram PR, Managing Director, India, World Gold Council says "The rationalisation of import duty on gold to around 10.75% from 12.5% is a welcome move and timely. Hopefully, this is the first of a series of such cuts to make bullion an asset class that operates mainstream. It is a much-needed incentive for the organised and compliant players in the bullion and gold jewellery market. A rationalised duty structure and simplified processes are fundamental to an organised trading market. Following appointment of IFSCA to regulate the International Bullion Exchange at GIFT City last year, the regulatory clarity in this budget around a domestic bullion exchange will spur infrastructure development and good delivery standards, enabling India to emerge as a major bullion trading hub.
Akahy Daftary, Director, SIRO Clinpharm says "In this year's budget, Union Finance Minister considered health and well-being sector as the first pillar which is very encouraging for healthcare and nutraceuticals sector professionals. The allotment of Rs 3,000 crore funds under skill development is a positive move by the government in terms of recruiting people since the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) industry demands skilled individuals in paramedics as they are the ones driving the sector and hence play a vital role in saving lives. The allocation of Rs 35,000 crore for COVID-19 vaccines was much needed as it is the need of the hour. Additionally, the allocation of Rs 69,000 crore to healthcare is again something that is commendable.
Prof Daviendra Narang, Director, Jaipuria Institute of Management, Ghaziabad sees "Several points stand out in the Union Budget presented by the Finance Minister. From the point of view of higher education, he welcomed the move to promote academic collaboration with foreign educational institutions. This move will empower students to hold joint or dual degrees, and open better career prospects for them, not just in India but across the world. Likewise, the proposal to set up National Digital Education Architecture will help bridge the digital divide which we presently see across multiple industries.
Harish Sanduja, Director - Schools, Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Educational Institutions, Ghaziabad says that "In her key announcements of Union Budget 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that 15,000 schools will be strengthened as per National Education Policy. The implementation of NEP in 15,000 schools initially is a great and thoughtful step by the government. The full-fledged rolling out of the same into the education setup without a trial run would have been an unwise and a hasty decision.
Quote by Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman, Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Educational Institutions says ''The education sector will get to benefit from the Union Budget presented by the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman. The budget paves the way for a phased implementation of the National Education Policy with the first step of bringing 15,000 schools across India under the policy's ambit. This will help minimize any widespread disruption in the pedagogical processes or curriculum, as these schools will serve as models for the other schools to follow.
Raktim Chattopadhyay, Founder & CEO, Esperer Onco Nutrition (EON) Pvt Ltd says as per the latest report by McKinsey by 2030, India needs to generate 90 million non-farming jobs over the next decade, which is possible if the GDP growth remains consistently above 8%. The recent GDP growth has been just 4%. With above context and with the world's largest immunisation drive already underway, economic recovery is the major focus of Budget 2021. He sees the government is able to take great effort to address the same by increasing in capital expenditure, ensuring tax stability, promoting privatisation and going in for higher government expenditure. However, he felt changes in tariff was not essential.
To sums up the budget presentation in a transparent manner with fair effort. Ravish Naresh, Co-founder and CEO, Khatabook says "The Union Budget 2021 has announced a series of initiatives to boost the MSME, startup, and digital ecosystem. The proposed allocation of Rs 1,500 crore to incentivise and promote digital modes of payment will lend the industry a major thrust and add to the acceleration of digital adoption in the country. Reduction of margin money requirement from 25% to 15%, provisions to expand the threshold of capitalization and turnover, permitting one-person companies, reducing the residency limit, and extending the ambit of tax holiday will strengthen the startup ecosystem in the country, which in turn will contribute to self-reliance.
Dr Akhil Shahani, Managing Director, Thadomal Shahani Centre for Management, Shahani Group and Ask.Careers remarked that the budget had some welcome initiatives, like collaboration with UAE & Japan, adding more rural schools, and strengthening the national apprenticeship programme. However, he believes that a lot more could have been done to build India's education sector as per the goals set out by National Education Policy (NEP 2020). Increased allocation of funds up to 6% of GDP (as recommended by expert committees), opening the sector to private for-profit investors and allowing foreign universities to setup campuses in India, were great opportunities which were missed in this budget."