Union Budget 2021 | Unmatched times, extraordinary Budget

The Finance Minister has presented a holistic, integrated and interconnected approach to health, livelihood and economic development without losing sight of making India a $5-trillion economy

It is an unprecedented time; an extraordinary Budget was expected to put the economy back on track quickly with health and livelihood of people as the priority. The Finance Minister deserves to be complimented on presenting the best of what can be done under the circumstances. At the same time, situations as this serve as an opportunity for high-impact reforms, and we hope to see more of it coming during the year.

The Finance Minister has presented a holistic, integrated and interconnected approach to health, livelihood and economic development without losing sight of making India a $5-trillion economy.

The experience of handling COVID-19 successfully has given the Modi government high confidence to do all the right things to help the economy recover, even by keeping the deficit levels high for a short window of time. The COVID-19 situation has taught us and the rest of the world to being self-reliant in essential technologies and production capacities. So, building an Atmanirbhar Bharat is a logical next step.

India has the potential to be the factory for the world. Manufacturing and the logistics infrastructure like warehousing, roads, rail network and the ports need to move to global standards of scale and efficiency. Manufacturing and infrastructure can bring millions of jobs to our people.

The Budget has addressed several enablers in this direction, like, specialised manufacturing parks, infrastructure as in highways, railways and ports, reforms in the power sector and affordable housing on rent for migrant workers.

Railways could move large amount of goods and people in a very cost-effective and environmentally-friendly manner. A relook at railways as the backbone of the country is certainly going to be beneficial.

Boost for auto

Voluntary vehicle scrappage policy is a well-deserved boost for the auto industry. This has been a long-pending demand from the environmentalists.

The need to improve urban infrastructure is recognised with allocations to water supply, cleanliness initiatives and metro rails. Enhancement in public bus transportation on a PPP model will go a long way in reducing pollution in cities and is a boost to bus manufacturers.

The proposal for the new Development Finance Institution is a welcome and we hope to see it operate at high standards and be able to attract global investors with ease.

Opening the insurance sector to 74% along with various other planned reforms as the single securities markets code, Gift City fintech hub, framework for corporate bond market, investor charter, company matters are a strong signal to the global investor community that we are moving ahead with reforms despite tough times.

The bold BFSI reforms announced for creating an ARC to have a pathway for transferring NPAs from PSB balance sheets will spur the lending sector. So, we are on the right track. Need to push the pedal harder and faster as much as we can.

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