- From common man’s point of view: As there are no appreciable changes in the areas of tax slabs, exemptions, deductions etc., majority of the taxpayers are not affected; at least directly. As many more fields get pre-filled in the IT form, process is moving towards simplicity. Government has decided to minimize litigation too by raising the limits for assessments.
- Industry/Business point of view: A significant change that has been noticed in Government’s stance for the past few months and further reinforced by this budget is that businesses are being seen with respect now. There is an effort to protect them from undue harassment by officials. Further reducing the timeframe to reassess for example and the power to reopen assessments (only) upto 10 years when evasion is suspected to be more than INR 50 lac and that too with the consent of Pr. CCIT points to a major change in mindset. Major changes in MCA acts facilitating fearless business environment further reinforces this new mindset.
- NRIs: NRIs have always been our much awed compatriots who incidentally started to get a squeeze from various Governments in the past few years. Now, some incentive is being extended to them like OPC (One person companies) can be formed by them. NRIs can now claim benefit from tax deducted in India on the money accrued in foreign retirement accounts.
- Overall great outlook as duties have been reduced/rationalized on many commodities.
- Focus is on making India a major manufacturing powerhouse.
- Privatization of Banks/PSUs particularly the struggling ones requires a lot of resolve. But FDI in Insurance sector “with appropriate safeguards” is a cause of concern. The way Global banks and Insurance companies have gone bust over the past few years make is a very risky maneuver. Indian investors and policy holders have largely been safe due to reliance on Indian funds.
- Vehicle scrapping policy can be a major game changer. As the old vehicles get removed from the system, auto companies would get a major boost further triggering boom in ancillary segment which would percolate down to all sectors as the scale is humongous. Recycling industry is set for major overhaul and evolution towards systematic and organized working.
- Suitable allocations to infrastructure development will pump in a lot of work and liquidity in the system.
- From IT industry point of view, there is not too much cheer but Government’s focus on Digital India is definitely going to benefit IT sector. PLI scheme for manufacturing sector will also help. Government’s adoption of ML & AI technologies will give a major boost to these already booming sectors.
In the end Government can only facilitate business, we need to brace ourselves up to grab emerging opportunities.