In a conversation to CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan, Subhrakant Panda, President of FICCI admitted that we haven't seen private sector capex over the last year, year-and-a-half. However, he believes that the PLI schemes and other measures, aimed at enhancing the ease of doing business and reducing the cost of doing businesshave made India an ideal destination to attract investment.
The Budget countdown has well and truly begun and we have less than two months to go for the Union Budget and ahead of that corporate India has been making recommendations to the finance ministry on what they expect from the budget speech. Industry body FICCI has recommended continued capex support, an extension of the concessional tax regime for new manufacturing units among others.
In a conversation to CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan, Subhrakant Panda, President of FICCI admitted that we haven't seen private sector capex over the last year, year-and-a-half and that was the reflection of both the pandemic period and aftermath.
He said, "Obviously, there were some growth concerns. I think with the PLI schemes and other measures, aimed at enhancing the ease of doing business and reducing the cost of doing business, I think India is an ideal destination to attract investment, especially global supply chains looking to move out of China."
One of the recommendations that FICCI made was to give out a concessional tax rate of 15 percent to corporations for the next five years, and the sunsets on that in 2024. Panda believes that this window of five years will provide some certainty and would help in attracting investment.
He added, "I commend the government for the heavy lifting they have done during the pandemic period and its aftermath, it was absolutely necessary to support the economy to shore it up. And the fact that it has continued, I believe, will now start crowding in private sector investment."
On the COVID scare Panda said that there is no need to panic, but one has to wait and watch what information flows out. He mentioned that China's reversal of its zero-COVID policy is an abrupt lifting of restrictions.
Having said he commended the government for being proactive, with the health secretary writing to all the states and stakeholders to be vigilant to do genome sequencing and hopes that this is under control.
He added, "From an industry perspective, of course, there could be the possibility of more supply chain disruptions, which we can hardly afford, if this does spiral out of control. But I would prefer not to speculate at this point in time."
On India's growth, Panda said global growth will slow down sharply and International Monetary Fund (IMF) has already predicted its halving in 2023 and India is neither an island nor are we decoupled from the rest of the world.
He further mentioned that India seeing headwinds on the export front, which is a 2nd-degree impact of persistent inflation. He said, "India is well prepared, in a sweet spot but we certainly have to sort of navigate through a year or so of short-term turbulence while keeping our eye on the tremendous opportunity that India represents over the medium to long-term."
For full interview, watch accompanying video
Also Read: Budget 2023 wishlist: Assocham says govt should keep interest rates, borrowing low to boost capex cycle
(Edited by : Anushka Sharma)
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