Brief summary of pre-Budget expectations of industry leaders:
India must continue to invest in infrastructure, especially medical infrastructure, said Confederation of Indian Industry, or CII, President TV Narendran, adding the government should announce schemes to boost consumption by the lowest income strata. There should be policies on the socio-economic side, health infrastructure and job security, Mr Narendran said.
CII President-designate Sanjiv Bajaj said the industry would like to see a continuation of the disinvestment programme. The Air India sale puts a stamp of commitment on the current government, Mr Bajaj said.
Mr Bajaj, however, said the industry wants to avoid any "undesirable taxes" and "knee-jerk interest rates". His CII colleague Mr Narendran said the government should not add more layers of taxes and avoid policy flip-flops like retrospective taxes.
Former CII chief Vikram Kirloskar said the industry expects more investments in the auto sector. "We haven't seen much being put into the auto sector," he said. The government needs to find a way to boost demand of vehicles at the entry-level, and also pursue net-zero and sustainability goals, Mr Kirloskar said.
CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said he would like to see a better rural demand, for which the government should not reduce support to schemes such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, or MGNREGS. At the time, the policies should not hurt business sentiments.