A clear communication on the status of UID and the next course of action would go a long way in giving some direction to the initiatives started on the basis of Aadhar, especially Direct benefit transfer (DBT) of welfare payments. Lot of investment and efforts went into these initiatives and any change will impact payment technology services providers and other stakeholders.
We expect the new government to look into the issue of penalties imposed on technology firms involved in UID related projects. Timely redressal will save lot of avoidable costs and keep operations moving.
A couple of high level committees have recommended a payoff of 3.14% for Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) disbursements of NREGA wages and Social Security Pensions. The current compensation is not adequate for banks and their partners to meet costs of delivering to the last mile. This is very crucial in ensuring the viability of the business correspondent (BC) model in delivering government benefits and financial products in remote rural areas. For the greater benefit of savings from leakages and frauds, Government should make electronic payments (EBT) through banks mandatory for all welfare payments. This would also play a huge role in ensuring financial inclusion.
--- Rishi Gupta, COO & ED - FINO PayTech
Change policy on waste utilisation by cement and other industries
Alok Sanghi, Director, Sanghi Industries
The cement industry is one of the most taxed industries in India. The excise duty on steel is just 4% whereas for cement it is 12%. We believe the government really needs to focus on how they can reduce the cost of cement, either by reducing the royalties, or reducing excise duty.
Government also needs to change policy on waste utilisation by cement and other industries. Currently, municipal corporations charge for waste utilized by companies. However, in developed countries, government encourages waste utilisation through payment to companies against successful waste recycling. Only if there is any incentive to recycle waste, it is viable and feasible for cement companies to replace coal for energy production.
Need steps towards GST, revival of the investment cycle and stabilising the rupee
Arjun Handa, MD & CEO, Claris Lifesciences
There is a lot of expectation from the Modi government, but it would be prudent not to expect overnight positives, the budget should be a strong budget with minimal populist measures, drawing the road map; for the next 5-10 years; of reduction in inflation and increase in Investments along with FDI. The key expectations in the near term are implementation of GST, revival of the investment cycle and stabilising the rupee.
Abolish excise and custom duties on food processing
Mr. Rajesh R. Gandhi, MD- Vadilal Industries Ltd
Food processing Industry indirectly supports development of Agriculture growth & farmers. Food processing industry acts as buffer while there is short & surplus in Agro production. And hence, encourage food processing, which is very low in India as compared to rest of the world.
- All excise & custom duty be abolished on food processing, cold chain & all equipments connected to manufacturing, sales & marketing
- All taxes which could be excise, service tax & vat on process food products be brought to minimum level, which are highest in many cases
- India is facing high inflation of prices, hence to control some of the Agri & Dairy commodity, import of dairy products be allowed at lower custom duty, which currently is being charges higher custom duty or is being banned to import or channelized. To free import of dairy products; which will help control inflation & also will bring awareness on productivity & cost control in dairy sector. Fine balance to be maintained between farmer’s increase cost of input Vs consumer increasing inflation from dairy products
- Improve support to exports of process food products through various measures which includes subsidies etc. Most of develop world support subsidies to export of agro & food processing through variety of direct & indirect subsidies
- Food processing industry badly affected due to poor availability of power. Growth of industry is not coming due to scarcity, hence power availability to improve, which will help over all to all round development of Indian Industry
- Investment in cold storage should be encouraged by way of subsidy as well as no duty on electricity consumption. This will help food processing to grow and also control the inflation because huge amount of vegetables/fruits are wasted due non-availability of storage facility nearby so as a result, shifting from one location to another location, lots of vegetable / fruits are getting damaged and affect the quality so finally getting wasted.