Budget 2018: Infra boost, lower GST rates; corporates have high hopes from Arun Jaitley

As the government gets set to unveil Budget 2018-19 today at 11 am, all eyes will be on whether the authorities stay the course on containing the fiscal deficit, or whether they throw caution to the wind with a populist set of spending priorities.

Facing discontent at home over falling farm incomes and a backlash following policy initiatives that have dented growth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be aiming to woo rural voters and small business owners in the last full budget before a general election that must be held by May 2019.

To keep investors on side however, Modi will have to convince them that he plans to keep to his word on working towards reining in the fiscal deficit.

A Reuters poll this week showed most economists expect a 3.2 percent deficit in 2018-19, as the government looks to increase investments in areas such as agriculture. Anything much beyond that, however, may draw a swift sell-off in the markets.

Here’s the wishlist from industry captains from Budget 2018

Raghupati Singhania, Chairman & Managing Director, JK Tyre & Industries Ltd.
From a macro view, I expect Union Budget 2018 to accelerate investments through public expenditure, boost real estate construction and create a competitive environment for investment in manufacturing – so vital for employment generation. There is scope for widening and simplifying the tax base, reducing personal taxation at a higher level and introducing minimal taxation at lower levels. Increased spends in healthcare — currently 1 percent of the GDP, encouraging innovation and research through suitable tax support, are essential to address the future.

Madhavan Menon, Chairman & Managing Director, Thomas Cook India Group
If we focus on creating employment as a top priority, then domestic tourism is a very important element. We all appreciate that domestic tourism in principle creates jobs, and there is a multiplier effect now in order to increase tourism domestically. However, there has to be a rationalisation of taxes in hotels. We need to get rid of this disparity that exist in aviation turbine fuel which directly affects airfares across country.

Sumit Sawhney, Country CEO and Managing Director, Renault India Operations
After the roll-out of the revolutionary GST, the government needs to have a simplified GST structure with not more than two rates - a merit rate for small cars and two wheelers, and a standard rate for most of the other vehicle categories. This will make the taxation regime less complex and will certainly help boost the demand for automobiles. While it is imperative for the government to create a conducive policy framework for adoption of electric vehicles, it is equally important for the OEMs to work closely with the suppliers to build the relevant ecosystem. There should definitely be support from the government for CBUs in the EV segment, and a long-term R&D policy, as well as necessary training and skill enhancement initiatives to support the evolution of electric vehicles in India.

Anil Valluri, President, NetApp India & SAARC
The government has demonstrated that it values technology-led governance for transparency and efficiency. A stronger thrust on research and development that enables more indigenous innovation and increased investments in future technologies will be welcome. I do believe that we will see more of citizen focused and friendly decisions, and initiatives to bolster investment into India.

Rahul Agarwal, CEO & MD Lenovo, India
There is a need to develop local component ecosystem to make India the next electronics manufacturing hub for the world. Policies like Phased Manufacturing Programme (like Phones) should be brought into PC manufacturing also by incentivising local value addition. The Union Budget can be the catalyst to significantly increase PC penetration in India. As per a MAIT- KPMG report, households equipped with PC are just 10 percent in India versus more than 45 percent of countries such as Brazil, Malaysia, Turkey and 35 percent of China. Budget can address this issue by starting with policies to promote usage of IT in education and skills sector. Secondly, Government itself can go for overhaul of legacy IT infrastructure, thereby conserving energy and becoming more efficient.

Nikhil Rungta, MD, Intuit India
In the upcoming budget, we expect increased incentives and budgetary allocation to encourage the flow of credit to SMEs. We are also hoping to have a business environment with minimum regulation and policies helping SMEs expand, grow, and go digital. For start-ups, we want the Budget to foster an ecosystem to help them access capital easily and make investments in the segment lucrative. In the last year, while GST has been hailed as a much-needed overhaul of the indirect tax system, many small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) across sectors - services and product alike - are still adapting to the new tax regime.

Kunal Lakhara, VP of Finance, Pocket Aces
Introduction of GST was a big positive step in unifying the indirect tax administration and collection. Abolishing the collection of GST under reverse charge mechanism on transactions with unregistered dealers was a great move to help startups and the broader SME sector. We hope that it remains that way at least for a year or so.

Rajesh Uttamchandani, Director, SYSKA Group
The Make-in-India initiative of the Government would be very helpful in reducing the fiscal deficit and generating employment in India. Further, the emphasis of the government to move towards LED under the energy conservation policy promises immense savings of electricity. Also, the recent move to increase import duty on LEDs would support energy conservation under ‘Make-in-India’ to a great extent”, says Mr.

Ameen Khwaja, CEO & Founder, LatestOne.com
If the government focuses on developing infrastructure in rural areas, then e-commerce industry can make a substantial contribution to bring about more inclusive growth in the nation as a whole. Also, we live in a time where mobile phones have become a very important part of our lives, our social interactions and our safety. However, keeping the batteries charged is a challenge. Power banks, hence, have become an essential accessory. Power banks are currently listed under 28% slab. If it is brought under lower slab of 18 percent, we would have taken a big step towards realizing the dream of a truly digital India.

Manoj Sharma, Managing Director – Asia, MicroSave, an international financial inclusion consulting firm
We need to have a talk about the poorest sections of society – we need to have these conversations, especially around the time of the Budget. The Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana (Ujjwala scheme) has been a big hit in rural areas. Poor people with no alternative other than wood and cow dung cakes finally have access to a clean fuel. While some of the challenges around non-usage are emanating from behavioural issues; there are logistical and pricing issues as well which constrain the segment that Ujjwala targets. Can the budget increase spend on Ujjwala? Typically an LPG cylinder costs on an average, Rs 730. Households get a subsidy of Rs 240 which makes he final cost to the household to be Rs 490 per cylinder. There is a case for increasing the subsidy amount to poor households and ensuring door step delivery of cylinders in rural areas; just as is the case in urban areas.

File photo of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. PTI

File photo of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. PTI

Manu Jolly, CEO, Digiperform, digital marketing training platform
On one hand, the government is promoting skilling and on the other, they have put the same under 18 percent GST category. I feel there should be no Indirect Tax on any private institution who is working on skill development in our country. These skilled resources are going to add to the GDP of the nation in coming times, hence it needs to be promoted. GST on Skilling needs to be abolished or reduced considerably.

Harsh Snehanshu, Co-Founder & CEO, YourQuote
If the budget could allow for deferred taxation for ESOPs and sweat equity, it could work as a boon for both the employees and employers, for it will increase retention and help everyone in the start-up benefit rather than just the founders.

Dinesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, IndiaMART.com
Increase the allocation towards K12 education. In the last few budgets, we have seen huge amount of budgets being allocated to Management and engineering colleges. However, basic education has been largely neglected. There should be public-private partnership in education.

SMEs contribute to almost 45 percent of manufacturing output, 40 percent of total exports and employ 40 million people. However, when it comes to policy making these SMEs are completely ignored.. My recommendation is to setup an empowered committee which can represent the Indian SMEs. I want the government to come up with steps that could promote the usage of Rupay cards in the country and thus lower the cost of transaction.

Aditya Loomba, Jt. Managing Director, Eco Rent a Car
There should be one common GST slab for all hotels regardless of the category of hotel. The tax should be comparable to other tourism economies like Thailand and Sri Lanka so that Indian tourism business gets a level playing field in regional tourism arena.

Gurinder Bhatti, Chairman & MD, ESS Global, a study abroad consultant
The government should lay down more quality institutes across India and attract students to these institutes from across the globe as that's big time lacking which is one of the major reason that very few top institute features in top 500 institutes in the world from India. More representation is required from edutech sector and government should think of having corpus for funding edutech startups aiming to fulfill the dream of Skilled India.

Sudeep Singh, Co-founder and Chief Evangelist, GoWork
The Indian co-working industry has seen a phenomenon growth in the year 2017. To make this growth upbeat and continuous, we look forward to further developments in government’s smart cities initiative, as occupiers are looking for improvement in infrastructure in these cities to be able to make a move towards Tier II and Tier III cities. Also, keeping in mind that start-ups do not make profit in their primary years, the government could consider lowering income tax slabs for startup employees which will aid the sector reduce costs.

Manmohan Malik, Founder & CMD, Himalaya Foods
There is a need to merge agriculture, food processing and Civil Supplies ministries ( farmers, processing & consumer ministries ) into one single ministry with the main agenda to ensure ‘No Glut-No Shortage " by better planning under one single ministry. The merged ministry should be given the task to balance the interest of farmers and the consumers. It should have a sharp advisory wing to advise on acreage, water management, Government schemes and handhold the farmers to create best value from their land holding.

Mitul Thapliyal, head, Government and social impact domain. MicroSave
The effective supply of electricity has a direct bearing on other fuel choices such as kerosene and LPG. Access, availability and reliability remain the main issue with electricity distribution in rural India. Despite the subsidy, uptake and usage remain low due to the erratic supply of electricity. As the government phases out the kerosene subsidy, it should ensure that eligible people have access to electricity either through Saubhagya scheme or distributed sources of energy. The government could give a subsidy of Rs 100 to people to at least start using electricity. Alternately, the government could think of introducing a pre-paid system for distributing electricity. Under this system, people can buy fixed units of electricity in advance, or receive fixed units for free and then the supply would shut off.

Kalyan Basu, MD & CEO, Invoicemart
We expect the Finance Ministry to continue to provide easier access for MSMEs to institutional credit and strengthen them through a more relaxed regulatory framework. Secondly, I would like to focus on the important issue of credit insurance which could be provided to the MSMEs coming onto to the TReDS platform for bill discounting. Just as ECGC has been protecting the small exporters from default risk of the foreign buyer, we also need a similar product for small MSMEs to cover default by their buyers in the domestic market. I look forward to a policy framework which enables a sustainable and inclusive development of the country with strong financial institutions lending to MSMEs.

Suchita Dutta, Executive Director, Indian Staffing Federation
There are four expectations from the Union Budget. First, the government should consider providing a national licence to operate in flexi/contract staffing. There is need for an industry status to flexi/contract staffing industry. More income tax payers can be added if policy makers consider adding more tax payers if the corporates are given some relaxation to work with tripartite contract staffing companies, who can provide continual employment to the flexi staff. This will bring job seekers into a tax paying bracket gradually. There is a need for social security ambit to be increased systematically and to provide for ease of business and sustainable investments.

Prithviraj Kothari, Managing Director, RiddiSiddhi Bullions
We are expecting the government to reduce custom duty. We also believe that the government should allow the gold loan for 365 days against 100 percent cash collateral security. Additionally, the government should allow banks, mutual funds, and foreign investment to participate in commodity exchange and auction trading.

Manoj Sharma, Director - Asia, MicroSave
The government can think of implementing gold-based investment schemes, targeted at marriage of children. An individual could save a small amount of money every week, fortnight or month for say 3-5 years. After completion of tenure, they would get a certain amount of gold. This will provide an avenue for poor people to save for say, their children’s wedding or indeed to create an aspirational asset. Similarly, Jan Dhan accounts could be used for income generating activities in poultry, piggery, etc.

CA Kamal Poddar, Managing Director, Choice International
The Government must replicate its success in Jan-Dhan Bank Accounts by opening Demat Account to raise the public participation in capital market to 10 percent from the prevailing 1 percent. The focus needs to be shifted on investor education initiatives aimed for expanding the capital base. The government should consider providing tax incentive in the form of 80C deduction for resident individual to invest in equity up to Rs.50,000 per annum. There is also a need to explore the cost of trading/investing and it must be reduced since the costs involved in trading (brokerage, commission, taxes etc.) are comparatively higher in India compared to developed markets.

Indian capital market can be further integrated with the global market by promoting Indian Depository Receipts and making them more attractive in a concessional tax regime. This could also be taken up to draw a clear road-map for capital market convertibility.

Vijay Kalantri, President, All India Association of Industries
The Union Budget should address following concerns, viz: rationalization and simplification of direct taxes (Income tax), rationalization and simplification of rules and regulations in regard with the goods and services tax (GST), reduction in income tax rates for corporates to 30 percent and hike in individual tax payer’s limit to 5 lakhs as per inflationary index, reduction in interest rate for MSME/ infrastructure projects on lines with home loans; and long-term infra funding bonds and credit to infrastructure sector in line of international funding.

Amit Ruparel, Managing Director, Ruparel Realty
One of the major issues plaguing the real estate sector is the delay in the clearance and approval process for residential real estate projects . The demand for a single window clearance mechanism, which is a need of the hour, is yet to be met. Single-window clearance can significantly bring down projects cycle time allowing developers to focus on their core business of project execution.

Real estate is one of the key contributors to GDP, and is the fourth largest source of employment for the country. However, it still hasn’t achieved an industry status, which would have helped developers raise funds at lower rates, thereby reducing their project costs. The simplification of taxation norms for REITs is a need of the hour for it to be listed in India.

Amit Singh, Co-Founder, Yitsol technologies, a technology solution provider
Budget provisions should be able to attract talent for startup/small companies. There should be special provisions to help startup/ smaller companies to participate in technology tenders of government.

Punit Goenka, President – Indian Broadcasting Foundation
In the rapidly changing landscape, we believe that the distinction between telecom, IT and broadcasting technology has disappeared and that a convergence of these sectors is required. A positive consideration of this demand in the 2018 budget will certainly help in the rapid growth and generation of substantial employment in our country. Also, similar to the telecommunications sector, television broadcasting organisations including Direct-to-Home (DTH), cable services and Headend in the Sky (HITS) require huge investments in setting up technology and distribution networks and, as such, are ‘asset-rich’ organisations. Hence, just like in the software and telecom sectors, it is necessary to allow for the carry-forward of losses in the case of amalgamation or merger of companies in the broadcasting sector.

Amit Sharma, CEO and Co-founder, SHOPX, a digital offline retail platform
Enrich the prime minister’s employment generation programme so that young people in smaller towns are encouraged to run small stores / kiranas, and upgrade them with technology. The programme can be extended to provide employment and new business generation subsidies. Accelerate the Digital India campaign by offering a government cashback program on the BHIM app.

Srikanth Sundararajan, Partner, Ventureast
GST policies are not very clear. Start-ups are expected to file GST returns on a monthly basis, which impacts cash flow and operations. We believe what will really stand out for this budget is if there is a policy enabling start-ups to file for GST returns on an annual basis instead, which would lead to stabilization of operations. What would be good to if the service tax slabs could be made more uniform for start-ups in the services space giving them all an equal opportunity.

Ambarish Datta, MD & CEO, BSE Institute
There should be deduction under section 10 for salaried employees limits to aligned to actual school children fees to support education needs. GST should be waived off completely for education-related services like job melas, placement services, pre screening, canteen services, books, publishing etc

Mitesh Shah, Head of Finance, BookMyShow
While the GST council has already taken some proactive measures, we hope the government will re-emphasize on a roadmap for simple and business-friendly GST compliance and administration systems. More importantly, over the course of next few months, initiate all necessary constitutional amendments to ensure that there are no other State or Local Body Taxes, as they defeat the very purpose of bringing uniformity in tax structure, while ensuring proper input credit for taxes. UPI should be made more cost effective and should be given a much larger push to increase its adoption in India.

Gaurav Dublish & Siddharth Sood, Co-Founders, Wildcraft
This budget is going to be an important one for us, and we look forward to the proposition of concrete steps towards incentivising organizations and individuals that are actively taking the promise of Make In India forward. On our part, Wildcraft has already begun investing resources and focus towards designing, manufacturing and technology led initiatives that will not only improve our offering but will also create more jobs, in addition to the 4000 associates that we currently employ.

B V Naidu, Managing Partner, StartupXseed Ventures
The Budget should address some of the important concerns startups face today like lack of differential tax rate for start-ups, Angel tax and ineffectiveness of CGTMSE scheme

Vinay Pradhan, Country Manager, India Skillsoft
We are expecting some growth-driven policies which would act as a catalyst for the Skill India program and a sustained push towards a digital-first economy. With this budget, the Government should encourage increased participation by the private sector in the skill development initiative and provide tax exemption for investments made in the Learning and Development sector. To persuade working professionals to undertake self-education programs to upgrade their skillset, the government should consider making some provision of tax benefits on expenses incurred by them on self-education and also in procurement of simulators, multimedia and e-learning for training providers.

Narasimha Jayakumar; Cheif Business Officer, 99Acres.com
The real estate sector has long been demanding an ‘industry status’ so that more formal bank financing at cost effective rates can flow into the sector benefiting developers. Additionally, a reduction in GST rates on under-construction properties from the current 12 percent effective to somewhere around 5 percent will also uplift market sentiment and drive housing demand for such units. The industry also awaits more favorable tax shields for first time home buyers in the form of increasing the limit of section 80C and 80EE.

Tarun Cherukuri, Founder, Indus Action
Compared to other BRIC nations, our current investment scenario with respect to this cause is low. The merging of the three educational programmes under MHRD is a great step towards streamlining governance within education. However it needs to be supplemented with a clear road map to spend 5-6 percent of GDP on education.

Umesh Sachdev, Co-founder & CEO, Uniphore Software Systems

Though the government last year exempted ‘innovative’ start-ups from angel tax, it appears that the issue is far from being resolved. The approval process for this exemption is still unclear. Hopefully, the government in the Budget will propose a well-defined policy which objectively defines the parameters with precision in thought and its execution.

Pankaj Makkar, Managing Director, Bertelsmann India Investments

E-commerce giants like FlipKart & Amazon were asked to treat ‘deep discounts’ as capital expenses and not deduct the same from marketing expenses by the income tax department. It is difficult to denote if a company is offering deep discounts for a future benefit or simply using it as a marketing/sales strategy. The govt. must be fair while dictating e-commerce start-ups on how they classify their expenses. Leading e-commerce players are trying to build the online marketplace by providing discounts, which drive first time consumer experiences of online shopping. This reform causes a major roadblock for new digital start-ups trying to enter the e-commerce space.

Husien Dohadwalla, educationist
In the budget, all aspects of education should be focussed upon, such as providing supplies and textbooks thus clearing all hindrances amongst the underprivileged. Literacy is a prerequisite for social development. In order to aim for a higher literacy rate, there should be an elementary school within two miles of every settlement. Technology can be a significant driver of quality education, so that increasing number of schools can provide a holistic and interactive learning experience to make our students future ready.

Payeli Ghosh, Co-founder, JiffyRPA, an Intelligent automation platform powered by Option3
Last budget had brought in a few positive measures for startups and entrepreneurs, such as reducing the income tax rate from 30 percent to 25 percent for domestic companies, and extension of Income Tax holidays. We need more such plans for the coming budget to facilitate growth of start-ups, and to help them achieve sustainable growth, and increase the ease of doing business. We need to see more support driven for emerging domestic companies to hold true to the promise of Make in India. Female entrepreneurs need to be supported so that more women can be empowered to work on innovative ideas in a male dominated economy.

Limesh Parekh, CEO, Enjay IT Solutions
A tealistic Budget is what I expect from this government when it is going to propose their last budget of their current term in office. There is more logic than hope to this argument. The government has implemented certain bold steps for the economy. If they release a populist budget, it might derail all those steps and reforms. As a surprise, we may also expect some bolder steps to come in like retail reforms or still more transparency in real estate segment.

V Srinivasan, Chairman, eMudhra
The Budget needs to focus on measures that can further simplify doing business and ensure growth of the rural economy. It needs to also focus on ensuring better credit availability to SME’s to spur manufacturing and private investment, plan for execution of divestment targets to meet fiscal budget and policy reforms that can attract more FDI to fulfil government’s Make in India program.

Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travel
We look forward to the Union budget 2018 and anticipate that streamlining taxes in federal budget will boost the travel and tourism sector. We expect tour operators may be given an option to pay the GS percent without input tax credit. Tax exemption benefit should be extended to the NRI Holiday business. Clarification on the flexibility of transfer and availment of GST credit on hotels to the service providing state should be provided. Clarification on non-applicability of GST on Intra Company but interstate transactions will serve as an impetus to the Industry.

Abraham Alapatt, President & Group Head - Marketing, Service Quality, Financial Services & Innovation, Thomas Cook (India)
A clear intent by the government to focus on tourism as a sector (given its enormous ability to generate direct and indirect employment and sustainable GDP growth) with a big thrust on investments and improving the infrastructure will encourage both trade and tourism.

KK Mookhey, Founder & CEO, Network Intelligence - Global Cyber Security firm said :
In last years budget, the Finance Minister announced the setup of CERTFIN. While the initiative was much-needed, we hope to see much more specific action points in the 2018 budget that will align with the digital transformation journey that the country is undergoing. The 2018 budget must support development in the cybersecurity infrastructure by focusing on people, process & technology. The expectations are for benefits to local organizations for a much-needed push to increase qualified cybersecurity professionals, set up local compliance across all sectors for Data Security and to waive off taxation for home-grown cybersecurity technologies.

Jyoti Vaswani, Chief Investments Officer, Future Generali India Life Insurance
With an overall investment corpus of nearly 30 lakh crore and annual premium inflow of approximately 4 lakh crore (growing at more than 20 percent annually), the life insurance industry continues to make noteworthy contribution towards nation building. However, the penetration of life insurance industry in India still stands abysmally low at 2.8 percent and thus beckons for being incentivised with higher tax benefits in the upcoming Union Budget for buying Insurance policies.

Some measures which we believe would augur well for the insurance sector are a) Separate limit for tax exemption for Life Insurance: Currently life insurance is one of the investment avenues which falls under Section 80 C limit of 1.5 lakhs. Given the long-term nature of Life Insurance savings and protection products, there should be a separate limit of Rs 50,000 akin to NPS for Life insurance. 2) Parity with NPS : Life Insurance (Pension plans) should also be part of the exemption under Section 80CCD of NPS and 40 percent of the maturity proceeds should be tax exempt on lump sum withdrawal. In addition, annuities arising from pension plans should also be tax exempted. In the absence of federal social security in India, these measures to encourage pensions, protection, insurance and savings, will go a long way in building the financial health of the country.

Amit Madhan, President &; Group Head - Technology & Shared Services, Thomas Cook (India)
Domestic Tourism sector is a significant but yet underleveraged sector that offers a strong multiplier impact to the GDP and employment generation- via travel & tourism, hospitality and allied sectors. We look forward to seeing the government’s focus, including adequate outlay in terms of infrastructure, favourable taxation policies, etc.

Hemant Joshi, Partner, Deloitte India
The biggest expectation is to make the telecom sector viable and profitable so that it can attract funds for new technology rollout as well as contributing to the Digital India Vision i.e. to digitally empower the citizens of India and transform India into a knowledge economy. Accordingly, to align the vision of Digital India, the government must address all issues to archive this. Therefore, the first thing that needs to be done is to treat telecom as a critical industry and infrastructure and give all the benefits and support, like any other infrastructure namely power, transport, etc.

Balram Yadav, Managing Director, Godrej Agrovet
In the forthcoming Budget, we feel that the government should continue its path-breaking initiatives such as DBT for fertilizers, E-NAM, focus on irrigation and encourage export of agri commodities with renewed vigour. Animal husbandry can emerge as a key sector in doubling farmer income and therefore should be supported by additional incentives such as tax holiday for few years. With an endeavour to reduce focus on the MSP regime in the long run, the forthcoming budget should chalk out a policy to introduce price deficit scheme nationally. This will hedge price risks in agriculture and farmers will be compensated for distress sales at prices below government announced minimum support prices (MSP).

R M Vishakha, MD & CEO, IndiaFirst Life Insurance
For life insurance products, we believe, an earmarked provision of say, at least Rs 50,000 could boost its widespread adoption, as against combining it with other instruments exempt under 80C. I would add from a customer perspective that life insurance needs to be as obligatory as a third-party motor insurance, being a vital component of risk protection. Currently, 80 CCD exemption is exclusive to NPS contributions. Including insurers’ pension products also under this benefit will provide a level-playing field for pension accumulation schemes.

Khushru Jijina, Managing Director, Piramal Finance & Piramal Housing Finance
Our wishlist from Budget 2018 would be the inclusion of the real estate sector in its entirety under the ambit of GST. The rate of tax on specified affordable housing schemes has been notified as 8 percent which is still quite high and could be reduced to 5 percent instead to provide the necessary boost towards truly achieving ‘Housing for All’, a priority initiative for the government. Incentives for first-time home buyers under 80EE was restricted to properties valued at Rs 50 lakhs or less.

Ratna Chadha, CEO, TIRUN Travel Marketing & Member of CII committee for Cruise Tourism

We are expecting Budget 2018 to bring significant respite to the highly taxed travel and tourism industry and grow both domestic as well as international tourism. The potential of India as a cruising hub needs to be recognized and the sector needs to be given an aggressive boost to realize its ability as a significant contributor to India’s economy and foreign reserves.

Indroneel Dutt, CFO, Cleartrip
The budget of 2018 after the watershed legislation of GST reforms is expected to set a positive tone for the travel market through the broader plan to upgrade existing airport and rail infrastructure for better connectivity and investments in overall furtherance of digitization.

Manheer Singh Sethi, Co-founder Travkart, “With one of the biggest contributor to the Economy Tourism is expected to get a boost with the Union Budget 2018 in the next month. Contributing 9.6% of the GDP and 9.3% of the total employment of the country Tourism has been on high with 18% jump in the foreign tourist arrival from September 2016 to 2017 in the same period. We expect some robust steps to promote tourism which is expected to generate 10 million more jobs. Lowering the GST and financial support in the advertisement to promote tourism are few out of many expectations of the trade.

Varun Gupta, CEO, Goomo an omni-channel travel tech platform
We are looking forward to significant announcements to support the travel and tourism sector by reduction in taxes and providing more incentives to the $35 billion sector thereby boosting economic growth that will help in creating more jobs. We are expecting that the input credit will be allowed in this sector even at the 5% GST rate. Also, anticipate clarity from the Government on the recent announcement to provide marketing support to the Travel Agents promoting Incredible India.

Sajiv Nath, MD, Yokogawa India
In a move that will profit bigger organisations, the legislature may cut corporate expense in the forthcoming Union Budget. For broadening the tax reduction, the legislature could consider organisations with yearly turnover of Rs 1500 crore and above. A cut in corporate duty will likewise rely upon income standpoint for GST in the following financial. I hope that Budget 2018 may propose a withdrawal of DDT and come back to the great arrangement of profit tax assessment, that is, profit pay to be saddled on account of the beneficiary investors.

Ebrahim Mookhtiar, Director, SKILLDOM
We are hopeful that GST application to mutual funds is abolished. We also expect that the Budget resolves to do away with dividend distribution tax for businesses having a turnover of 50 Cr or less. We hope that the budget caters to offer tax relief to corporates spending money on employee training.

Click here for full coverage of Budget 2018 


Updated Date: Feb 01, 2018 10:53 AM

Also Watch

IPL 2018: Royal Challengers Bangalore eye revival against Chennai Super Kings as 'Cauvery Derby' comes back to life
  • Thursday, April 26, 2018 In the Kanjarbhat community, a campaign against 'virginity tests' is slowly gaining ground
  • Tuesday, April 24, 2018 It's A Wrap: Beyond the Clouds stars Ishaan Khatter, Malavika Mohanan in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Monday, April 9, 2018 48 hours with Huawei P20 Pro: Triple camera offering is set to redefine smartphone imaging
  • Monday, April 16, 2018 Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore interview: Sports can't be anyone's fiefdom, we need an ecosystem to nurture raw talent

Also See