There’s a buzz in the air in the run-up to the Union Budget each year. While the finance minister may wish to focus on raising spending to boost consumption and faltering economic growth, the industry may expect the following from the upcoming Budget 2019:
Adequate liquidity into NBFCs: Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has sought specific measures to address the liquidity issues being faced by Non Banking Financial Company (NBFCs). According to the industry body, rushing companies into the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) because of liquidity shortages is not the solution. The industry seeks relaxation of securitisation norms to ease funding crisis and deferment of the rules on working capital loans.
Cut in corporate tax: Industry demands for a five per cent cut in the corporate tax to spur economic growth and increase overall tax collections. Certain segments like automobile, construction, housing, NBFCs, aviation and exports are facing rough weather owing to multiple factors and require a delicate handling in terms of policy and fiscal measures. Along with these measures, the GST Council may be impressed upon for rationalising taxes on vital sectors like automobiles and cement to lower slabs of 18 per cent for demand generation while sectors like jewellery making may be helped with lowering of import duty on gold, as prices of the yellow metal are shooting up in the international market.
Stress fund for the stalled housing and real estate projects: Industry experts pitches for creating a stress fund for the stalled housing and real estate projects as with not too large a corpus for short term, projects worth lakhs of crores of rupees would come to fruition, providing a big relief to the home buyers and revival of sentiment in the sector.
Focus on infrastructure: According to ASSOCHAM Senior Vice President Hiranandani, the sectors like housing, real estate, construction have a huge multiplier effect on the economy, creating millions of jobs, adding immense wealth to the exchequer and lifting the consumer sentiment. So, there is a great expectation from the Finance Minister, particularly with regard to these sectors.
Sops for agriculture sector: While the government aims to double farmer’s income by 2022, it is doable if massive investment is made in agri and the entire rural infrastructure like irrigation projects, cold storage, supply chain, road and rail connectivity. Linkages with the food – processing industry would make a huge difference along with the technology enabled aggregators. The industry expects the Budget to give a major boost to this sector by fiscal and administrative measures, taking states on board.