This year’s budget touches upon aspects that are critical to economic development and wellbeing, says AMIT GOSSAIN, Managing Director, KONE Elevator India
Did the union budget 2022 meet your expectations?
In line with last year’s budget, this year’s budget also looks progressive touching upon aspects that are critical to economic development and wellbeing. It is good to see that the growth for the current year pegged at 9.2% makes India the fastest growing economy in the world. The budget lays priorities for growth driven by seven engines through the Gati Shakti National Master Plan that has additional focus on roads, railways, airports, ports, mass transportation, waterways and logistics infra. It is good that the concessional corporate tax rate of 15% would continue for one more year till March 2024 for newly incorporated manufacturing companies.
What were the key announcements that will create a deep impact in the coming months in pushing the growth of the sector?
Apart from this infrastructure focus, it is praise worthy that there is a real focus on affordable housing where INR 48,000 crores has been allocated for the construction of 80 lakh houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in both rural and urban areas in the year 2022 & 2023. It is also heartening to note that there would be an additional focus on mega cities and tier-2 & tier-3 cities making them more sustainable. It's good to see big focus on digitalization with 75 digital banks and the digital rupee to be introduced.
Which are the infrastructure projects that hold the key to push the growth momentum forward?
Our government has strengthened its commitment of using infrastructure as a multiplier for continued economic growth with over 35% year on year increase in capex and a proposed infrastructure spend of over Rs 10 lakh crore in Budget 2022-23. Budget’s focus to encourage integrated logistics and multi-modal connectivity is definitely a positive move towards the progress of the logistics industry in India. In terms of infrastructure, there is an outstanding change in transportation with the development of highways. The government has set a target of expanding the National Highways network in the country by 25,000 km in 2022-2023 from 12,000 km for fiscal year 2022.
What are the policy initiatives you would like the government to enforce/introduce for the growth of the infrastructure sector?
However, there remain few expectations from one of the largest employment generators in the country which is the real estate industry and that is to do with making real estate an infrastructure industry. Also, there was expectation that the home loan tax rebate will be increased from 1.5 lacs. There should also be some incentives in the budgets going Green through Platinum and Gold rated residential buildings.