I am looking forward to a number of reforms. There has to be a very clear map for GST and the government needs to ensure that the ´Make in India´ initiative is successful and facilitate the ease of doing business in India. Also, the government needs to ensure that planned budgetary expenditure is incurred and there should be a very strong mechanism to monitor it.´
Vinod Aggarwal, Chief Executive Officer, VE Commercial Vehicles
The last Budget allocated approximately Rs 7,000 crore to initiate the government´s smart city dream. We will expect an allocation from the government which will set the pace for the vision. Certain tax incentives and progressive policies will be required to attract foreign investments as well as participation, especially in the manufacturing segment. Unrolling and introduction of GST to facilitate multiple point taxation and enabling tax compliance will provide the manufacturing sector a much needed boost.
Anil Kadam, Senior Manager - Solution Architect (Utility Segment), Schneider Electric India.
This shall be the first full Budget announced by the BJP government after coming to power; hence the industry has high expectations that this Budget will be forward looking and industry friendly. First and foremost, we suggest that the government gives more money in the hands of the people which shall spur spending, which in turn shall enhance demand. Looking from the point of view of the automobile industry, the excise duty relief that was discontinued from 1st January 2015 should be reintroduced as this will give the much-needed stimulus that is urgently required for the auto industry. An increased spending in infrastructure development shall create a demand for commercial vehicles which in turn shall also benefit the auto component industry as demand for those components will also increase.
Nishant Arya, ED, JBM Group
Most of the sectors have high expectations from the Budget this year, with the promises and quick reforms being introduced by the government. The budget should cover some concrete result oriented plans for economic policies in order to lift the sagging economy. Privately funded projects are majorly impacted by Budget implications. Not only should the budget be aimed at long term reforms of the sector but it should boost the market sentiments. Being an integrated discipline, infrastructure needs to be seen holistically as many industries thrive within this sector. If all such components are encouraged by budget announcements, it will be a boost to growth.
J R Tanti, Managing Director, Aspen Infrastructures Limited
The upcoming Budget 2015-16 will be critical and adequate policy reforms and measures will be required to see actual implementation and outcome of the recent growth and development initiatives announced by the government. With an eye on boosting infrastructural development in the country, there is a need for expeditious environmental and forest clearances on pending infrastructure projects such as highways (Expressways and national highways) and rail networks. In addition, a detailed, well thought out design framework/guidelines need to be laid down encompassing the holistic preservation of the eco-system.
Asheet Pasricha, President, Association of Indian Forging Industry
Keeping in mind the PM´s vision of dreaming big for India to be a $20 trillion economy, this Budget has to take important strides to ensure that the government remains focused for the development of the infrastructure sector in the country. Some of the measures, in our view, to boost the sector could be liberal guidelines for single-window clearance for infrastructure projects and relaxation in the tenure of repayment for rupee loans for long-gestation infrastructure projects.
Mahesh Singhi, Managing Director, Singhi Advisors
We are expecting the Modi government to strongly demonstrate that it is serious about infrastructure. It must increase impetus to the road & transport sectors since this has direct impact on inflation which is the key factor for India to grow at 7-8 per cent GDP.
The impetus to GST, infrastructure and other such efforts which have been spoken about, needs to be physically now demonstrated across India. If government has to succeed in its efforts in making ´Brand India´ or ´Make in India´ a reality, it has to ensure that India is in the Top 10 countries in ease of doing business.
Areef Patel, Vice Chairman, Patel Integrated Logistics
Infrastructure Companies should be exempted from Minimum Alternative Tax (MAT) u/s 115JB of the Act. Infrastructure Capital Companies should be exempted from dis-allowance u/s 14A of the Act. Section 14A of the Act provides for dis-allowance of expenses incurred in relation to exempt income. As per NHAI guidelines, project development has to be undertaken by separate SPVs incorporated for each project. Investments in these SPVs are made by promoter companies combining own funds as well as borrowed funds. Further, there should be reintroduction of exemption under Section 10 (23 G).
This Section provided exemption to income from investments in/loans to infrastructure projects. This was a major incentive for equity investment in infra projects.
M Murali, Director General, National Highways Builders Federation
While the new government is looking determined for an accelerated development of infrastructure across sectors and has already embarked on taking substantial initiatives towards this endeavour, I feel, Budget 2015-16 would be great opportunity to take comprehensive and wide ranging encouraging measures in both direct and indirect tax domains apart from favourable policy decisions.
The government must consider giving wide-ranging regulatory and financial incentives and benefits in the form of excluding expenditure incurred on establishing construction skill development institutes and training activities from the purview of corporate tax; companies investing in skill development/training should be allowed higher rate of depreciation up to 25 per cent.
Yogesh Kumar Jain, Managing Director, PNC Infratech Limited
The government should ensure that this allocated Budget is utilised well by mandating the use of geo-synthetics for the sectors of coastal protection and river training. Geo-synthetics in these sectors will act to replace the usage of boulders and concrete with locally available sand or earth, which will also ease the current pressure on mining. It should fast-track the works being designed by various Integrated Zonal Coast Management Programmes and empower them with a mandate to use soft coastal interventions with geo-synthetics.
Tiru Kulkarni, Vice-President Geo-Synthetics - Garware-Wall Ropes Ltd
The Budget will be chalking out India´s roadmap for growth and overall development. It is expected to incorporate a strong policy framework to stimulate investments in infrastructure and boost consumption and demand. We are also looking forward to taxation policy reforms, simplification of rules and reducing discretionary decision making processes to provide a stable environment for the industries to grow.
Sivasubramanian Natarajan, Managing Director, ThyssenKrupp Industries India Pvt. Ltd.
Increase in infrastructure spend and rationalization of excise duty will spur growth in the cement industry. Enhanced infrastructure spends can have a multiplier effect on the economy. The Indian cement industry too will gain as the infrastructure sector consumes significant quantities of the total cement produced in India. The investment has to come from the government as the private sector quite simply doesn´t have the wherewithal to make such huge outlays especially at a time when its balance sheet is already stretched. A special focus needs to be laid on the housing sector. Increased incentives to the developers for Low Cost Housing will further give an impetus to this sector and in turn increasing the demand of cement in the country.
Ravindra Singh Mohnot, Management Advisor, Wonder Cement
Suitable amendments should be made in the Income-Tax Act for extending beneficial provisions for infrastructure projects to be made applicable to upgradation/extension of existing infrastructure facilities. Also, more boost and aggression is required in the bidding and completion of highways which must be supported by introducing lender friendly provisions. As regards the renewable energy sector greater incentives in the nature of tax exemptions should be offered so as to instill confidence amongst the investors and suitable provisions should be made to make the sector lender friendly, which will definitely provide more impetus to the sector.
Rashi Anand Suri, Partner & Head of Infrastructure Practice, SNG & Partners
The current government now faces a dual challenge of presenting a growth oriented Budget whilst simultaneously balancing people´s expectations with the limitations of the economy. We have seen affirmative initiative from the government in its adoption of technology and digital medium for maximum governance and the government has to now ramp up the existing Information Technology & allied infrastructures for accelerated technology adaption in e-Governance.
Sunil Khanna, President and Managing Director of Emerson Network Power in India
Our wish list would include reduction in excise duty for a five-year period; thrust on infrastructure development; manufacturers should be allocated iron ore and coal on priority at linkage rates; allocation of mines should be made to manufacturers of steel; administrative delays in clearances should be ironed out, and there should be easing of interest rates and financial assistance from banks for core sector industries. Unless the government takes infrastructure development on a priority basis, it will be very difficult for all round growth.
B Satish Kumar, MD, Steel Exchange India Ltd.
I would look for policy measures around extent of infusion of public investments, financial solutions to fund cost over-run gap and restructuring of loans in alignment with cash flows in existing projects, development of infra-focused debt & equity funds, coverage expansion in primary & secondary markets for Infrastructure Debt Funds (for top-end credit) and Alternate Investment Funds (for mid to low end debt & quasi-mezzanine equity), and other financial measures that would enhance productivity of existing capacity and create new opportunities to scale up infrastructure capacity to build linkages for accelerated growth pick-up in manufacturing and agriculture sectors.
Moses Harding, Group CEO & Chief Economist, SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited