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Will FY22 Budget meet India Inc's aspirations?

Even as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman kick-starts pre-Budget virtual consultations with different stakeholder groups in connection with the forthcoming General Budget 2021-22

Nirmala Sitharaman
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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

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Even as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman kick-starts pre-Budget virtual consultations with different stakeholder groups in connection with the forthcoming General Budget 2021-22 on Monday, it assumes significance to have a look at the wish list as expressed by various industries in the country.

Before focusing on the upcoming Budget, it's better to have a look at the year which is all set to close. Yes, Covid-19 made it a difficult year. Still, there are some good news which may include that GDP contraction has narrowed to -7.5 per cent and India's industrial output, that grew at the fastest pace in eight months in October at 3.6 per cent. It comes as a great relief at a time when the country was heading towards becoming 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'. Sensex crossing landmark level of 45,000 has given a big boost to the country's economy.

Again, as on December 4, over Rs 2 lakh crore has been sanctioned by the banks, while the disbursement to the tune of Rs 1.58 lakh crore has been done to 40 lakh borrowers under Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS). It is also something which can be rejoiced.

The story doesn't end here. In May, when the Centre announced a massive Rs 20 lakh-crore economic stimulus package, it received standing ovation by one and all. The reason was it came at the nick of the hour when the entire nation was ravaged with the Covid-19 demon.

However, the finding of an RTI says something else. It has revealed that out of the promised amount of Rs 20 lakh crore promise, the government has been able to disburse merely 10 per cent of the stimulus package, which speaks volume of the snail's pace progress on the front.

The Performance Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme of the government is lucrative. The only thing that SMEs are unable to avail themselves the scheme is due to lack of awareness. The scheme needs to be publicised well as, so as to make it effective one.

The RBI's recent move to extend the on-tap Targeted Long-term Repo Operations (TLTRO) to stressed sectors identified by the KV Kamath panel is faced with the problem of poor credit demand, despite surplus liquidity in the system. The scheme needs to be fine tuned accordingly.

Now, it is up to the government to see to what extent it was able to meet the industry's aspirations, when it starts gearing up for the Budget announcement, slated for February 1.

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