Budget 2017: How Different Sectors Affected By Arun Jaitley’s Announcements
The Union Budget 2017 reduced tax burden to give a boost to small businesses. A tax cut of 5 per cent announcement by Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister of India is a big relief for all MSMEs and SMEs.
Budget 2017 is Positive for Different Industrial Segments
Industry leaders believe that the budget 2017-18 is very much positive for MSMEs, SMEs, common man, and other sectors. The announced offers will also help to drive significant growth in the overall economy which is crumbling after demonetization. In his speech, Arun Jaitely, FM mentioned that the move will make MSMEs competitive with large companies and it was a necessary step after demonetization because businesses saw a 60 percent drop in the workforce within last three months. The budget is also positive for farmers and common buyers and will help in the overall growth of our country. As the relief is given to the middle-class taxpayers, it will enhance their purchasing power and will also contribute to the overall growth of the economy. Industry leaders are also happy with the FM’s commitment to implement Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 1 April 2017 for all stakeholders.
Tax Relief for SMEs
The reduction of corporate tax for SMEs with turnover less than Rs 50 crore is a welcome move as it will help in the overall growth of SMEs. Suneet Kochhar, Chairman, Punjab State Committee, ASSOCHAM said, “At least the glide path towards lower corporate tax is clear. The reduction shall be a positive booster and help widen the taxpayers’ base and enhance compliance.” He also welcomed the decision of abolition of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. He said, “It is a great signal to the foreign investors about furthering of reforms and ease of doing business in India.”
As the Government is focusing on making India a digital economy, more emphasis laid on boosting technology sector through the 2017-18’s budget. The announcements will definitely help technology startups and big companies who will help in making India a digital country and help in adoption of new technologies in rural and semi-urban areas to make ‘Digital India’ vision a reality. Tamaal Roy, CEO, Biomatiques Identification Solutions Pvt. Ltd said, “The Union Budget 2017 is a significant move to push digital payments. The biggest emphasize from the technology perspective is the exemption of components from taxes to encourage domestic manufacturing of these devices by providing exemptions from excise duties, BCD (Basic Custom Duties), CVD (Counter Vailing Duties), SAD (special additional duty) on miniaturized card readers and mPOS & micro ATM, fingerprint readers, scanners and iris scanners.” He praised the 2017 Budget because it has opened the doors that will allow people to avail long term benefits of digitalisation and make digital transactions more safe and secure. Incentivizing Iris based authentication can go a long way in embracing the digital way of life.
He further added, “Schemes such as Aadhaar Pay for people who don’t have mobile phones, cash back scheme for merchants, Aadhaar-based smart cards with health details for senior citizen etc. will reemphasize government’s approach towards making India a cashless economy.”
Education and Skill Development
The main highlights of the budget for education and skill development include; introduction of more than 350 online courses, a budget of Rs 2,200 crore to be used for skill strengthening, restructuring of UGC, AIIMs to be opened in other states, a greater autonomy to be provided to all major institutes and establishment of a national testing agency that will conduct all major entrance examinations pan India. Sankalp, a market relating trading program will also be launched. Vinay Pradhan, Country Manager- India, Skillsoft said, “The announcement to set up skill centers across the country will help youth seeking opportunities outside the country. However, to achieve this proposal, the government cannot solely rely on traditional methods to develop skills. Instead, it should collaborate with the private sector to establish a robust technological infrastructure for learning and skill development. With this partnership, the youngsters, both working professionals and students in educational institutes, can have access to cost-effective self-education programs at the skill centers that have been proposed in Budget 2017.”
Vidushi Daga, Founder & Director of Clone Futura Education appreciated the move taken to skill development and implementation of quality education parameters for higher education but disappointed with the ignorance of primary education system. Vidushi said, “By introducing the practice of measuring annual learning outcome in schools is a very good move taken by the government, but the main concern is that the entire focus was only on higher education. The base of having a systematic and future-oriented education system can only be implemented by building a good platform for teachers to learn. If the primary education system is not molded, then eventually it is going to affect the higher education sector as well.” She emphasized, “There should have been a focus on how digital education can be provided to the primary school students and teachers by providing some special counseling/awareness about cyber safety, latest trends in technology and education modules etc.”
Few provisions mentioned in the Union Budget 2017 for the healthcare sector are; eradication of the major disease like Tuberculosis, Measles, Kala Azar, and Filariasis and development of 1.5 lakhs health centers and health sub-centres to improvise the quality service are important moves. All these moves will surely help in the betterment of the healthcare sector if implemented and funded properly. Dr. P. M. Bhujang, President, Association of Hospitals said, “Healthcare is one of the major sectors which requires additional focus in India as public health spending in India is the lowest one in the world. This is an ironic reality is that public health systems are unable to utilize the allocated budget.” He added, “The hospital infrastructure required more focus from the government as if you check the statics there are hardly beds available for the number of patients in the hospitals. The number of nurses and doctors are also very less in private as well as government hospitals.” He praised the decision of opening new AIIMS in Jharkhand and Gujarat. “However restricting to these two cannot match the number of doctors and nurses required in India”, he further added
Apart from all this, the budget being helpful for the rural development; and bringing reforms in political funding etc. Post demonetization all sectors are under stress but these announcements would bring big relief in all sectors.