The countdown to the union budget has begun. All eyes are on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who faces the daunting task of unveiling measures to push growth without upending the fisc.
A pre-budget expectation survey conducted by Grant Thornton Bharat highlights the need for bold policy announcements to spur investments in the infrastructure sector and boost consumption.
Nearly 67 percent of those surveyed believe that finance minister should be focussing on propelling investments in the infrastructure sector and have listed it in their top three focus areas.
Meanwhile, 54 percent have ranked the need for a consumption boost in their top 3 focus areas.
The respondents ranked agriculture, healthcare, and pharma, and manufacturing as the three sectors that should ideally get the greatest thrust in the upcoming budget.
When it comes to taxes, 55 percent believe that the government should maintain a status quo and not tinker with rates.
This, despite the fact that fiscal deficit is ballooning and government revenues, need to be shored up. However, 90 percent of the respondents feel that the government should provide some relief to the individual taxpayer.
Vikas Vasal, Natl Managing Partner - Tax at Grant Thornton Bharat, spoke to CNBC-TV18 to give more details on the Grant Thornton Bharat survey.
Vasal said, “Most of the business respondents have clearly stated that the expectation is two-fold. One is the budget should provide impetus and boost to the investments whether it is in terms of infrastructure or manufacture. The second key expectation from the respondents has been that the budget should spur policy measures which should boost consumption in the economy. So investment and consumption are the key themes which people are looking forward in this budget.”
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