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HomeTop News'Gati Shakti' – Budget 2022 focuses on improving infrastructure and boosting growth

‘Gati Shakti’ – Budget 2022 focuses on improving infrastructure and boosting growth

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nirmala sitharaman, sitharaman, union budget, budget 2022

The government has said this year’s Budget focuses on improving infrastructure to boost growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the key announcements include expanding the National Highways network by 25,000 km this fiscal and an emergency credit line guarantee scheme for small and medium-sized businesses extended to March 2023. This being the 75th year of India’s independence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government decided to market its annual budget as a blueprint for the next quarter-century. “GatiShakti,” which is Hindi for kinetic energy, is Modi’s idea for speeding up the movement of goods and people.

“Drone Shakti” programme for start-ups on drone technology, Defence research to be opened up for start-ups, start-ups’ incorporation period extended till March 31, 2023, to claim tax incentives. 75 digital banking units in 75 districts by scheduled commercial banks, Digital rupee using blockchain to be issued by RBI are some of the vital key programs introduced in this budget.

Tax slabs remain unchanged, but taxpayers can now file updated income tax returns within two years in a one-time window. 5G mobile services to be rolled out within 2022-23. E-passports with embedded chips and futuristic technology to be rolled out next year. In boost to EV sector, battery swapping policy to be introduced. A 30 per cent tax will apply on income from the sale or acquisition of virtual and digital assets such as cryptocurrency.

Afternoon Voice took expert’s opinion on the Budget 2022, Devendra Fadnavis, former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly said, “This Budget looks to the future of India. This is a budget that is more balanced, inclusive and leads to a development on economic parameters, The investment of Rs 7.50 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector is historic. Pradhan Mantri Gatishakti Yojana will be a major investment in roads, railways, waterways, and ropeways. The decision to provide additional capital to industries emerging from the Corona period as well as the scheme has been extended till March 2023. It will have an investment of Rs 5 lakh crore. A booster of Rs 2 lakh crore has been given to micro, small and medium enterprises. This sector generates more employment.”

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, MD & CEO, Bandhan Bank said, “The Union Budget for 2022-23 seeks to support the recent economic growth momentum India has seen, and help it sustain over the long-term. The substantial rise in planned capital expenditure for the creation of infrastructure, focus on affordable housing, welfare & development of MSMEs, and the farm economy will prepare India for the next phase of growth. This can lead to the creation of millions of new jobs, helping India leverage its young demographic dividend. The new business opportunities and enterprises that will come up due to these projects will also benefit the banking sector. The extension in the timeline and increased outlay towards ECLGS and an additional infusion of funds in the Credit Guarantee Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises will provide relief to MSMEs, especially those engaged in contact-intensive sectors, who have been adversely impacted due to the pandemic. The significant additional allocation towards PM Awas Yojana will boost demand for affordable housing and in turn demand for housing finance. It was also heartening to hear about the Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for the North East Region find special mention in the Budget, in line with the CAPEX projects planned for the rest of the country.”

Siddhartha Sanyal, Chief Economist and Head of Research, Bandhan Bank said “The Budget aimed at near term boost to consumption, as well as creating the necessary physical and social infrastructure to support the country’s long-term growth ambitions. The Budget attempted to balance the needs of large and small industries and various segments of the population in the budget. While the details of the plans related to government borrowing need to be scrutinised closely, the Finance Minister was mindful of not allowing the deficit to balloon. The focus to support MSMEs by the extension of the ECLGS scheme till March 2023, with a larger corpus of the fund is a welcome step. The CGTMSE scheme to support small and micro enterprises should also provide much-needed support for this segment. Extending support for the affordable housing sector is heartening given the strong forward and backward linkages of this sector and its potential to generate employment at various levels. The focus on some of the long term priorities such as skill development, financial inclusion, social security, and clean energy in the budget remains noteworthy.”

MD & CEO at Bank of India, Atanu Kumar Das told Afternoon Voice “ Union Budget’s focus on significantly higher public investment pump-priming private investment will lead to multiplier effects across all segments of the real sector.”

Himanshu Pujara, Regional MD, APAC, Euronet Worldwide said, “Money has changed forms over centuries. From salt & cattle to now paper money which lasted the longest time. This is a historic budget that has defined the future of money i.e Digital Currency. A landmark step that will improve the economy and reduce Its dependence on paper money. We welcome the introduction of the Digital Rupee using blockchain technology by RBI.”

Pranay Jhaveri, MD, India and South Asia, Euronet Worldwide said, “We see that government has laid out a strong framework for a digital ecosystem to make it safer, secure and affordable for individuals and businesses. With the target to complete the laying of optical fibre in villages by 2025, settlement of 75% of running bills in 10 days, and setting up online eBill system are focused projects to expand digital infrastructure, improve internet access, increase payment touchpoints across hinterlands of India. The introduction of digital currency will bring in security and transparency. We also welcome the initiative of setting up 75 banking units in 75 districts. As 1.5L post offices come into the core banking fold, we hope that ATMs will become as ubiquitous as post boxes which will directly serve the financial inclusion narrative of India.”

Hardika Shah, Founder & CEO, Kinara Capital said, “Union Budget 2022-23 has presented a comprehensive package of policy announcements aimed at supporting the recovery of MSME. Aside from the critical announcements about the extension of the ECLGS scheme and the revamp of the CGTMSE program, along with the infusion of additional funds, the government’s focus on RAMP is also commendable, as it will define the path to sustainable and responsible development for the sector. We also look forward to the interlinking of MSMEs formalization and compliance platforms, as this stands to facilitate operability, therefore improving entrepreneurial opportunities in the sector. The digital focus of the Budget, with support for the digital ecosystem and payment platforms, also bodes well for small businesses, as we foresee the future of the sector being tech-led.”

Priyanka Gandhi to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, “You did not put anything in the Budget bag for UP, okay… but what was the need to insult the people of UP like this? Understand that the people of UP are proud to be a ‘UP type. We are proud of the language, dialect, culture and history of UP.”

Rahul Gandhi’s “zero-sum” swipe mirrors what his party colleague and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on the Budget, that there was “zero cash assistance, zero for those who lost their jobs, zero for those who’re looking for their jobs, zero for MSMEs…” “Modi Government’s Zero-Sum Budget! Nothing for salaried class, middle class, the poor and deprived, youth, farmers, MSMEs,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

Andy Mukherjee, of Bloomberg, writes his column “Sitharaman’s budget is risky because her choices were limited. India’s extremely low employment-to-population ratio points to 200 million missing jobs. Young people are delaying joining the workforce while women have left it in large numbers. By the time Modi’s “kinetic energy” plan charges up the transportation sector, India may be celebrating its 100th year of independence. Today’s young workers would be middle-aged. Missing out on a generation in its prime would be a tremendous waste of potential.”

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