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Budget 2021 Expectations Live Updates: Here’s what corporates, economists and market experts expect

Budget 2021 Expectations Live Updates: Follow this space for all LIVE updates on budget expectations from various quarters.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 1, 2021 8:26:34 am
New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman along with MoS for Finance Anurag Thakur during the final touches of Union Budget 2021-22, at Finance Ministry in New Delhi, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021. (PTI Photo/Shahbaz Khan)(PTI01_31_2021_000197B)

Budget 2021 Expectations Live Updates: Amid concerns over the severe impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on India’s GDP growth during the past year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present her third Union Budget Monday.

With the Budget session of Parliament getting underway, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday chaired an all-party meeting where he said the Government’s offer to keep the implementation of the three farm laws on hold for 18 months is still on the table. And that Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar is just a phone call away for taking forward talks with protesting farmer unions.

Now, all the market experts, economists and financial experts have their eyes on the Monday’s Budget session. We take a look at what India Inc and other experts in the market and economy expect from the upcoming Budget 2021 in our LIVE blog:

Live Blog

Track this space for budget expectations from various corporates, economists and market experts:

08:26 (IST)01 Feb 2021
Budget, monetary policy decisions may put markets through another volatile week

Stock markets, which witnessed a roller coaster ride in the last two weeks, are bracing for more volatility on Monday and in the coming days with expectations and worries running high ahead of the keenly awaited Union Budget.

After hitting the 50,000-mark in a non-stop rally recently, the Sensex fell by around 3,800 points to 46,285.77 last week mainly due to selling triggered by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) who pulled out Rs 12,700 crore in the last five sessions. “Going ahead, markets may continue to remain highly volatile amidst ongoing earnings season and Union Budget 2021 on Monday. Expectations from the Budget are running high. However, the government’s fiscal response in 2020 indicates certain inflexibility and the lack of resources to stimulate the economy,” said Siddhartha Khemka, head—retail research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services. (Read our explainer here)

05:28 (IST)01 Feb 2021
Govt’s expectations from Budget: Free-of-cost vaccines, greater share in taxes, higher borrowing limit

THE STATE government on Sunday demanded that the Centre should budget for a free-of-cost mass inoculation drive against Covid-19.

On the eve of Union Budget 2021-22, Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope said: “It has been our demand from the very beginning that the Centre should undertake a free vaccination drive. It should make budgetary provision for free-of-cost vaccination.”

Still scrambling to raise finances to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, Maharashtra, the worst-hit Indian state, is wary that the cost of mass vaccination, if not borne by the Centre, will end up burdening the debt-heavy state’s exchequer. Public health is a state subject. Read More Here

02:41 (IST)01 Feb 2021
Budget, monetary policy decisions may put markets through another volatile week

After hitting the 50,000-mark in a non-stop rally recently, the Sensex fell by around 3,800 points to 46,285.77 last week mainly due to selling triggered by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) who pulled out Rs 12,700 crore in the last five sessions. Read More

00:19 (IST)01 Feb 2021
Covid Budget: A to Z of what to expect tomorrow

At the start of the joint session of Parliament on Friday, PM Narendra Modi said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had already announced 3-4 mini budgets and that the 2021-22 Budget should be seen as an extension of the same effort.

As the country recovers from Covid and one of its worst years as an economy, The Indian Express unscrambles the A to Z of what to expect tomorrow.

22:28 (IST)31 Jan 2021
RBI likely to maintain status quo on interest rate, say experts

The Reserve Bank is likely to maintain a status quo on benchmark interest rate in its next monetary policy meet outcome to be announced on February 5, four days after the presentation of the Union Budget 2021-22. Experts are of the view that the RBI will refrain from tinkering with the interest rates and keep the monetary stance accommodative at the policy review though it will take guidance from the budget to be unveiled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha on February 1. "We expect the MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) to continue the pause. The fall in inflation rate was mainly due to fall in food prices. The core inflation rate has not come down. Excess liquidity needs to be watched. The vaccine availability is not going to impact macro economy immediately," opined M Govinda Rao, Chief Economic Advisor, Brickwork Ratings. --PTI

20:21 (IST)31 Jan 2021
Healthcare likely to get top priority in Budget: Survey

India's healthcare sector is likely to garner maximum attention of the government in the Budget 2021 to be tabled on Monday, as it comes in the face of the country braving a global pandemic, says a survey. The Assocham-Primus Partners survey covered more than 550 industry participants, 39.7 per cent of whom said healthcare would receive the highest priority in terms of resource allocation and policy support in the Budget.  Manufacturing emerged as the second key sector expected to be in focus, with 14.7 per cent respondents expecting it to receive the Finance Minister's attention, followed by MSMEs (11.4 per cent), real estate (10.7 per cent) and infrastructure (9.6 per cent). --PTI

19:02 (IST)31 Jan 2021
Stock markets ahead: Budget, RBI policy major events to watch out for

Stock markets are expected to remain volatile in the coming week as the Union Budget, macro data and RBI policy would be keenly watched by the investors, say analysts. The ongoing quarterly earnings season would also be in focus directing the movement of indices, reported PTI.  "Going ahead, markets may continue to remain highly volatile amidst the ongoing earnings season and the Union Budget 2021. Expectations from the Budget are running high," Siddhartha Khemka, Head - Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd said.

18:00 (IST)31 Jan 2021
Healthcare likely to get top priority in Budget: Survey

India's healthcare sector is likely to get the maximum attention of the government in the upcoming Budget to be unveiled on Monday, as it comes in the face of the country braving a once-in-a-century global pandemic, says a survey. The Assocham-Primus Partners survey covered more than 550 industry participants, and 39.7 per cent respondents said healthcare would receive the highest priority in terms of resource allocation and policy support in the Budget. Manufacturing emerged as the second key sector expected to be in focus, with 14.7 per cent respondents expecting it to receive the Finance Minister's attention, followed by MSMEs (11.4 per cent), real estate (10.7 per cent) and infrastructure (9.6 per cent). --PTI

16:41 (IST)31 Jan 2021
'Impetus on infrastructure push will be great'

"A budget focussed on growth, special benefits for MSMEs, agriculture, education & skill development with diversity at core, relaxation on personal tax and GST with huge impetus on infrastructure push will be great," said Kaustubh Sonalkar, Group Director - Human Capital Management (HCM), General Affairs ,CSR and Corporate Communication at Welspun Group.

15:24 (IST)31 Jan 2021
Re-introduction of input tax credit for GST

"The year 2020 witnessed the emergence of Shadow Cities i.e. Tier II and Tier III cities, with many people returning to their home towns because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We expect the government to come up with schemes to boost the real estate market in such cities, which is also required to meeting the target of Housing for All by 2022.

"The real estate sector is also looking for the re-introduction of input tax credit for GST. Additionally, the sector would receive a big impetus if stamp duty and registration charges are subsumed within the GST and income tax exemption limit for home buyers in raised. These initiatives will help in sustain the improvement in sentiments which was witnessed in the last three months of 2020. The sector also looks forward to CLSS budgetary support for the EWS/ LIG as well as the MIG segment," Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, Housing.com, Makaan.com, and Proptiger.com.

14:40 (IST)31 Jan 2021
Real estate sector: 'Looking forward to reforms and incentives'

"Considering that real-estate is the second-largest job creating sector in the country, we are hoping that the Government looks at doing something concrete for the sector, keeping customer sentiments in mind. Especially from a commercial real-estate perspective, we are looking forward to reforms and incentives that provide encouragement to the manufacturing, start-up sectors, etc.; offer interest or capital subsidies on systems and equipment for all players looking to invest in technology, sustainable building and digitization of operations. Furthermore, we hope that the central and state governments can work together and take a look at reducing GST, stamp duty and circle rates," Anand Shukla, Managing Director, Ocean Infraheights Pvt. Ltd. (Golden I)

14:03 (IST)31 Jan 2021
'Hope govt realises full potential of ropeways to boost tourism'

"We expect and hope that the Government realizes the full potential of ropeways to boost tourism and enhance connectivity in this Union budget 2021-22. GST on ropeways currently is at 18%, that is higher than that on air travel, which is at 12%. In fact, ropeways should be treated at least at par with Railways where the GST is 5% with input tax credit at a minimum because they cater to all sections of society. Even this tax reduction will go a long way in boosting the industry. Also, ease of doing business needs to increase in the building and maintenance of ropeways. There is a great volume of licenses, permits and general bureaucracy that needs to be navigated in order for a ropeway project to actually materialize. Moreover ropeways are usually made in places which are not accessible by other modes of transport, and are also able to maintain the general landscape of the space. Therefore, subsidies to the extent of 30 – 40% should be given in order to bolster this necessary industry," said Aditya Chamaria, Managing Director, Damodar Ropeways & Infra Limited.

13:58 (IST)31 Jan 2021
Retail segment for increasing disposable incomes

"We hope that the Budget will help people to have more buying power by increasing their disposable incomes. The retail segment is looking at measures that could ease out the tax burden on people. Retail activity is one of the crucial aspects of the economy, and the segment would be eagerly waiting to hear about sops that could help it overcome the challenging times of the pandemic," said Abhishek Bansal, Executive Director, Pacific Group of Malls.

12:59 (IST)31 Jan 2021
Which sectors could be on priority in Budget 2021?

The upcoming Budget announcements may not satisfy the expectations of all economic segments and, in the context, it may be noted that tax revenues have also taken a hit. The government will have to adopt a considerate approach to ensure efficient utilisation of resources by identifying priority sectors and addressing the demands of multiple stakeholders/sectors. The pharma and healthcare sector will be the priority sector in allocating funds, and the successful implementation of the Covid-19 vaccination drive will have a huge economic impact in 2021.

- Arvind  Sharma, partner at General Corporate, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.

08:38 (IST)31 Jan 2021
Across the aisle: No expectations, no disappointment

P Chidambaram writes: I don’t wish to anticipate the Budget. There is a universal demand for increase in investment in health infrastructure and increase in defence expenditure, and I support that demand. The FM may provide more funds under the two heads. Otherwise, I have no expectations of this government. 

In the past, they have been exceptionally obstinate and impervious to good advice, and I do not see any change in their approach or behaviour.

I shall make my wish list secure in the knowledge that they will be ignored by the government! In the unlikely event of some suggestions being accepted, it would certainly not be acknowledged!

08:32 (IST)31 Jan 2021
What to expect from the 2021 budget?

Some are born atmanirbhar (self-reliant/self-sufficient), some achieve atmanirbharta, and some have atmanirbharta thrust upon them. This is likely to be the dominant theme for different sectors of the economy in the coming Budget. From education and healthcare, to reforms and tax relief -- we break down what to expect from the 2021 Budget. 



22:14 (IST)30 Jan 2021
"Expect Hon. Finance Minister to focus on two key aspects - demand and employment generation"

"In the upcoming Union Budget 2021, we expect the Honorable Finance Minister to focus on two key aspects: demand and employment generation. The best way to boost these is by spending on infrastructure as it has high employment elasticity and supports all businesses —large, medium, small or startups. Events and exhibitions are key mobilizers and facilitators of the economy and for the past few years, owing to our advocacy, we have seen a visible transformation in the government’s focus on the industry. The sector boosts trade, innovation and better understanding between nations that further propels sectoral growth, while also developing a host of ancillary businesses linked directly or indirectly to exhibitions. We have therefore been seeking an industry status from the government. Since trade exhibitions have a symbiotic relationship with the industry, promoting the sectors by introducing sops and rebates, especially for SMEs, to participate in trade exhibitions, will lead to the wellness of the economy, the sectors and the exhibitions industry," said Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director at Informa Markets in India

22:06 (IST)30 Jan 2021
"Hope that Budget will help people to have more buying power"

"The FM will be under pressure to address all aspects of life to ensure healthy economic growth. We hope that the Budget will help people to have more buying power by increasing their disposable incomes. The retail segment is looking at measures that could ease out the tax burden on people. Retail activity is one of the crucial aspects of the economy, and the segment would be eagerly waiting to hear about sops that could help it overcome the challenging times of the pandemic," Abhishek Bansal, Executive Director at Pacific Group of Malls

22:04 (IST)30 Jan 2021
"This Budget should have enough measures to infuse liquidity"

"For the Payments industry, the honorable Finance Minister should reconsider the complete elimination of merchant discount rate (MDR) on Rupay and UPI transactions which will support a sustainable growth in digital payments. To further the Financial Inclusion in the country, I feel all transactions happening under PMJDY should be exempted from the GST levy. Bank accounts opened under PMJDY are basically of low ticket size. However, the operating cost to service this under-served community is very high till it reaches a substantial base hence the exemption. This Budget should have enough measures to infuse liquidity, benefiting small and medium enterprises, especially those in the hinterlands. PSU banks must lead this mandates in partnership with FinTech’s - either through co-lending or lead-generation model," Ketan Doshi, MD at PayPoint India said.

21:59 (IST)30 Jan 2021
Hope this budget prioritizes growth-oriented measures and includes incentives for homegrown brands

"As an entrepreneur, I hope this year's Budget prioritizes growth-oriented measures and includes incentives for homegrown brands. From a watch industry perspective, considering the hit that we've all taken following the pandemic, tax concessions, reduction in GST rates encouraging consumers to spend more is of utmost priority at the moment. Especially since the demand for bespoke gold watches are at an all-time low, what with gold prices soaring, we are looking forward to the budget addressing the issues of high Import/Customs duties on gold and thus helping bring stability to the market. Also, we are hoping government comes up with a special mark for "Made in India" products to distinguish them from Imported products," said Gaurav Mehta, Founder & CEO at Jaipur Watch Company

https://indianexpress.com/article/business/budget-2021-live-updates-nirmala-sitharaman-income-tax-healthcare-economy-gdp-coronavirus-atmanirbhar-bharat-7168814/

Meanwhile, setting the stage for a stormy Budget session of Parliament, 17 Opposition parties on Friday boycotted President Ram Nath Kovind’s customary address to the joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.