Budget WISH LIST: SERVICES SECTOR

Insurance sector seeks incentives for customers

Telecom operators want faster rollout of 5G network

Insurance sector seeks incentives for customers

Vijay C Roy

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29

The services sector, which contributes significantly to the country’s exports and provides large-scale employment opportunities, plays a vital role in the the country’s GDP. India’s services sector covers a wide range of activities involving the hospitality sector, logistics, information technology, financing, medicare and insurance. Following are the expectations of the services sector from the Union Budget:

Increase insurance penetration

Currently, only 8% of the population is covered by insurance. The percentage of pure protection-led insurance is abysmally low. “We do not have a social security system like the one prevailing in Europe where the government takes care of all end-to-end requirements of the citizens post-retirement. Thus, it is important for the government to adopt a sandbox approach towards insurance in the Union Budget and incentivise people to make the nation socially secure,” said Tarun Mathur, co-founder and CBO, Policybazaar.com.

Reinstate GST setoff in hospitality sector

The hospitality sector wants reinstatement of GST setoffs for capex and expenses that were recently removed. “The cost of new restaurant capex has increased by nearly 20% due to this change, and hence by reinstating GST setoffs, we will see increased investments and employment opportunities,” said Karan Kapur, executive director, K Hospitality.

Ensure faster 5G rollout

At present, digital media companies need to spend a lot on keeping local servers ready with loaded content. ”The current AGR imbroglio with the telcos will delay the auction of 5G spectrum. This delay will seriously affect government’s ‘Digital India’ dream and prohibit smaller players from challenging the big players with innovative content,” said Shakir Ebrahim, founder, GoBisbo Broadcasting Network Pvt Ltd.

Enhance investment in technologies

According to Kushal Nahata, CEO and co-founder, FarEye, connectivity is extremely important to ensure logistics visibility and mitigate transportation risks. A greater focus on mandating the digitalisation of certain key accounting, billing, and logistics processes are needed to boost compliance and tackle corruption better. Modern logistics management tools can empower businesses to drastically reduce fuel consumption and hence shrink their carbon footprint.

Cut tax rate to boost FMCG demand

The FMCG sector is likely to face headwinds of economic slump. However, the government initiatives will play a major role in shaping consumer sentiments. “Government measures such as tax rate cuts, including GST, and announcements in the upcoming Union Budget in favour of rural economy will play a crucial role in uplifting consumer sentiments,” said Sanchita Jindal, founder, OSOAA.

Status quo on capital gain

“We don’t anticipate material demand-side measures in the Budget, as it is staring at a zero growth in tax revenue this year. Consequently, we expect the government to remain status quo on popular market demands around LTCG, STCG, STT, DTT or the super-rich tax introduced in the last Budget,” said Amar Ambani, senior president and research head, Institutional Equities, YES Securities.

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