As India’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman ditched the traditional British-era briefcase for a red cloth folder and presented her first budget to the nation and the world, closer home in the UAE, non-resident Indian businessmen, service professionals, home-makers sat glued to their television sets listening to the country’s first woman finance minister deliver a well-crafted budget. Here are some reactions from UAE NRIs and their analysis of India’s budget for the year.
Dr. B.R. Shetty, founder and chairman, NMC healthcare
It is the dawn of new India. I would like to congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the energetic Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitaraman for the remarkable vision. I am pretty sure this budget will take the Indian growth story to a different level.
The time has come for NRIs to easily do business in lndia. There is great opportunity in health sector, agriculture, education and technology, aviation sector, infrastructure among others.
According to me it is a well balanced budget, encouraging new start ups, the women and youth of India.
Needless to say with modernisation of health care industry and education, these will boost sectors like kidney transplant, tissue culture, stem cell technology.
Yusuffali MA, chairman of Lulu Group
As expected, the first budget of Modi 2.0 Govt. has efficiently covered almost all critical sectors which will boost India’s march towards becoming a US$ 5 trillion economy.
The key take-aways for me in this maiden budget by Nirmala Sitharaman are the emphasis given to rural and agricultural development, women entrepreneurship and making India the global education hub of excellence. India’s biggest asset has always been our young human resource and the measures taken in the fields of research & education will surely go a long way in boosting start-ups in various fields and across all economic segments.
On the infrastructure side, the plan to revitalise the railways, the back bone of our internal trade is highly encouraging. I have always been a big advocate of PPP model of development and investments in the infrastructure sector, so obviously it’s heartening to note that the government is promoting this model. Surely many organisations will come forward to be a part of this opportunity, to spur faster growth.
As an NRI, I am extremely happy to note that Aadhar issuing process has been simplified which will make our lives much easier. I am eagerly looking forward to the proposed ANNUAL GLOBAL INVESTORS MEET especially now that the NRI investment in the country would be made much easier by merging NRI portfolio route with foreign portfolio investment.
Dr Azad Moopen , Founder Chairman and Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare
It is very good to hear that we are striving to become a $ 5 Trillion economy soon. This will place India on the world center stage. However regarding NRIs and Healthcare sector , there is not much to sing about. It is good to know that NRIs shall be allowed to take Aadhar Card. This will help them to sort out many issues that they face now for identity and transacting business while in India.
There has been no significant announcements pertaining to healthcare in union budget. While there was hope that the allocation for health sector in view of the requirement for funding the Ayushman Bharath , this has not been allocated. It is good that the focus is in education and I hope that there will be more funding for starting and upgrading medical colleges. There is also proposal for “Study in India" program which will help in setting up autonomous institutions.
Rizwan Sajan, founder and chairman, Danube
Aadhar card on arrival for NRIs is a game changer. The Aadhar card is pretty much the most important card for an Indian. It is a big news for us. We just need to carry our Aadhar card now instead of our passport in India. It’s great. The other big news from the budget is that there will be no more digital payment charges. This is a huge saving for corporates working. The other good news is the corporate tax reduction from 30 per cent to 25 percent for companies earning less than 400 crores which is also a game changer. For the record, 90 percent of companies in India fall under this bracket. This will encourage businessmen to pay their taxes. This should have been done before. I also think this should be brought into effect across all companies in India irrespective of their turnover as this will further encourage employment.
The first budget of the Modi government in its second term, looks very positive with overall focus to improve standard of living by providing piped water, electricity, gas, housing , toilets to all. The government is definitely focusing on transforming rural India, which is a good sign for the development of the nation.
To stimulate consumer demand and propels greater investments & higher growth for the nation, government also announced a few brilliant schemes such as waiver of charges/fees on digital transactions and reduction of corporate tax to 25 percent for companies with an annual turnover up to 400 crores. Now this is definitely a new India and I am very confident that the government will take the nation to a whole new level.
Sudhakar Tomar, managing director, Hakan Agro
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's budgetary push for agriculture infrastructure especially the support of private entrepreneurship for value addition in farm sector is a game changer. This will bring 68 per cent of Indian population - dependent directly or indirectly on agriculture - into the main stream of economic activity.
Unlike other countries in India food is a socio - political - economic commodity and while consumers have a right to affordable food prices The farmer, the poorest but strongest link in food supply system, needs to be rewarded with economically equitable returns. The agriculture in India is a very high risk business where almost 70 per cent Indian directly or indirectly rely on agriculture for their survival. I personally aspire and dream to increase the farmer income by 10 times so that 7 out of 10 people become a material contributor to the engine of the national economy. The mismatch between what a farmer gets vs. what a consumer pays at the retail level is not sustainable and can’t continue forever.
Ram Buxani, Chairman, ITL-Cosmos group
India's first woman Finance Minister in her maiden budget has proved women manage money better! For years, Indian parents have spent billions of dollars educating their children abroad. Now, on Indian soil, education will be on focus and this is great development. India budget 2019 has focussed on inclusive growth. It is pro rural schemes and therefore a pro development budget. There is focus on agricultural investment which is very important. Super rich will have to share fortune more liberally with the exchequer. Indeed a well thought budget.
Dhananjay Datar, chairman and managing director of Al Adil Trading
The maiden budget of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has paved the way for the budgetary push with regard to agriculture infrastructure. I see the budget to be a great game changer and supports private entrepreneurship with regard to the farm sector. This is a conscious effort to bring majority of the Indian population who are directly or indirectly dependent on the agricultural sector into the main stream of the country. The budget presented today is a pragmatic one and will surely boost foreign investment in India. Reduction in corporate tax, promoting digital payments, encouraging start-ups and infrastructure development are positive signs and is expected to push the economy. Custom duty hike on fuel is marginal and will not affect the growth in total.