Finance Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley concluded a diplomatically appropriate Union Budget Speech from the Indian Parliament. The industry is actively coming forward in order to share their reactions and understandings from this year's Budget.
In an exclusive conversation with Faiz Askari of SMEStreet, Soumit R Jena, Chairman of Pieces Group leading exporter of Iron Ore, expressed his observations and concerns on the Union Budget 2017.
Faiz Askari: What is your initial level feedback on Arun Jaitley’s yesterday Budget Speech?
Soumit R Jena: The speech was comprehensive. It talks about several important policy level announcements and several motivating incentives for Indian tax payers and overall it was interesting to watch Mr Jaitley explaining Government’s financial policies and planning.
According to you, what are the main positive announcements that Mr jaitley made from his Budget speech?
Obviously, relief in tax slab for entry level tax payer is a great boost. Infact, the restructuring of tax slabs upto even higher income groups such people earning more than 10 Lakh per year is also something which is going to bring relief. Secondly, from the Small or mid sized business (SME) owner’s perspective, this budget has a lot of positive message. The reduction of 5% in tax liability is a huge motivator for entrepreneurs.
Do you see this budget as a positive budget for the entrepreneur of SME segment?
Yes, I do observe this budget as a great boost for small entrepreneur. But a lot has to be done in order to uplift the level of Indian SMEs and MSMEs. For example, the aspect of Ease of Doing Business and access to capital are some areas where Government have to come up with clear cut action oriented policies. Banking organizations must get proper and clear indicative from the policymakers regarding a pro business approach. This pro business approach can lead to prosperity of masses, because we must never forget that more than 85% of Indian working population is working in the MSME sector. Hence the prosperity of MSME sector is extremely important for the overall economic growth of the nation.
According to you, what are the key points which are not mentioned in Finance Minister’s yesterday speech?
There are few, infact, Mr Jaitley announced several incentives and packages such as the huge economic boost to MNREGA scheme. Somewhere the planning and execution part seems to be missing. It would be great if we can get more clarity on the execution plan of these schemes. Based on our previous experience, whatever has happened in the past, lack of execution planning has played vital role in restricting the desired impact of government’s welfare schemes. So, Finance Minister should consider this aspect of proper planning and execution.
What are your views on any missing elements of this budget speech?
Announcements were all welcome. Schemes which are discussed during the budget speech are all aimed at doing good to the society in one way or the other. But, we must understand the pain points of India entrepreneurs and acknowledge the fact that during last few years, business stability has gone missing. We heard about Smart Cities in last year’s budget, this year we heard about International Airports to be developed in teir 2 cities. Well, with due respect to the intentions of these policies we must explore the answers of what exactly has happened to the previous announcements. I missed to hear from Mr Jaitley about the status on last year’s big announcements. It would have been great if we would have come to know the status of impact of schemes such as Make in India, Startup India and so on.