Amritsar, February 1
The Union Budget evoked a mixed response from people hailing from diverse sections of society. Most feel that the Budget was populist in nature as it was the last complete Budget of the present government before the Lok Sabha elections next year.
Abhilash Bhardwaj, founder of The Fit Food, said Covid-19 concerns and the lock-down negatively hit the hospitality industry in India and also worldwide. But the tourism industry underwent a great turnaround over the last one year. There was an increasing thrust on the sector announced in the Budget which will not only create opportunities for hotels and travel services but also contribute to employment creation.
Gunbir Singh, past chairman, CII Punjab, said the expectations from a post-pandemic and pre-election Budget had raised expectations. By adopting an aggressive and ambitious approach to this year’s fiscal paper, the Finance Minister assuaged the hopes of the industry and services, although the agrarian sector was feeling let down.
Environmentalists found the green thread that runs through the entire Budget, towards sustainability and responsible practices, laudatory. It showcased the nation’s leadership on the high table of G20 committed towards climate change remediation and aspiring for a net-zero emission goal in lifestyle, business and agri-practices.
Anil Vinayak, a retired banker, said amendments in the banking company and RBI Acts were long overdue and in line with financial sector reforms to safeguard public money. Amendments in the RBI Act would provide it with more teeth for better supervisory role to end frauds in the banking sector. Negotiable Instruments Act, 1889, still in vogue is likely to be replaced in the new proposed amendments.
Two-Governor norms for the RBI should be implemented on priority basis; one for policy implementation and another for supervisory role.
In the health sector, 157 new nursing colleges are to be established along with the existing 157 medical colleges and there are proposals for a new pharma programme for R&D through a centre for excellence which was hailed by the pharma sector. Raman Gupta, who operates an export-oriented herbal unit, said the Budget acknowledged the growing role of R&D in the pharma sector.
Industrialists feel that capital investment outlay increased by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore (3.3 per cent of GDP) and effective cap expenditure by the Centre at 13.7 lakh crore (4.5 per cent of GDP) would help bolster the domestic economy.
By adopting an ambitious approach to this year’s fiscal paper, the FM assuaged the hopes of the industry and services. — Gunbir Singh, past chairman, CII Punjab
Legal amendments welcome
Amendments in the RBI Act would provide it with more teeth for better supervisory role to end frauds in the banking sector. — Anil Vinayak, a retd banker
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