Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is all set to present the Union Budget for financial year 2018-19 on February 1, Thursday. Just like last year, railway budget will also be presented along with the union budget. Speculations are rife in the industry and so are expectations before Mr Jaitley presents Modi government's fifth and last budget before the Lok Sabha polls 2019. Ahead of the budget presentation, the Economic Survey was tabled in both houses of the Parliament on Monday by Mr Jaitley. The Economic Survey said that India's economy is "picking up quite nicely", and will expand by 7-7.5 per cent in 2018-19 to again become the world's fastest growing major economy. Here's what India Inc hopes Union Budget 2018-19 should have:
Cap GST Rates For Skill Training Services
Narendra Shyamsukha is Founder Chairman, ICA Edu Skills said, "We expect the Union Finance Minister to take measures which will facilitate giving market-relevant training to crores of youth in the country. One of the first things the government needs to do in this regard is cap the GST rate for all type of skill training, irrespective of whether they government funded/CSR funded/ Self or Employer funded, at 5 per cent. Alternatively it should provide for a refund mechanism for GST."
Home Insurance A Crying Need
Roopam Asthana, CEO and Whole Time Director of Liberty Videocon General Insurance Co Ltd said that looking at the uncertain times today, "there's a crying need to increase the penetration of home insurance in India. Besides the lack of awareness, there seems to be a cultural opposition to insure homes as we believe that "it will never happen to us". This thinking needs to be changed and home owners need to be forced to get home insurance till it becomes an automatic part of buying/building homes in India."
Single Window Clearance In Real Estate
Harsh Dhand, Co-Founder and CEO, Rentsher said, "While institutional investment and foreign investment is exempt, the hard earned, tax paid money from Indian angel fraternity invested into seed stage startup, is subject to tax again. We need to seriously remove the same."
Special benefits for senior citizens
Ishita Sengupta, Partner-Personal Tax at PwC India said, "Most senior citizens depend on income from bank deposits to a large extent for their monthly sustenance. With interest rates on savings continuously dropping, senior citizens are under considerable stress. Some sops for them, such as tax exemption for interest earned from fixed deposits and increased deduction for medical expenditure (including hospitalisation costs not covered under insurance) would give them the much needed relief.
Rajashree Nambiar, CEO, India Infoline Finance Ltd said,"It would also be heartening to see an allocation towards digital awareness programs at a national scale. This will help educate millions of consumers and build the trust and confidence, for them to embrace banking and financial services of the modern day."
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