Overall a pragmatic and balanced budget. The new government has probably tried to balance the fiscal deficit restrictions vis-a-vis the push to be provided to the ailing economy. On one side the Finance Minister has tried to contain the fiscal deficit to about four per cent level, where as on the other side he has tried to provide boost to initiatives like job creation, infrastructure, higher FDI and domestic investments, industrial development, better healthcare and education etc. He has also tried to provide support to agriculture and warehousing to improve the supply and storage of agricultural products. The main focus of the budget seems to be higher growth and job creation through support of PPP programmes and more investment through FDI and domestic savings. The government has also demonstrated that it wants to promote use of newer technology whether it is use of broadband or solar energy. The budget has also tried to provide inclusive growth through development of underdeveloped regions e.g. Northeast and J&K. It has also provided for development of underprivileged section of society.
Key highlights/initiatives pertinent to healthcare and pharma
More focus on education and health
a. Sanction of more IIMs and IITs
b. More hospitals in form of AIIMS
a. Introduction of New Accounting Standards in line with IFRS by FY 16
b. Implementation of GST during current fiscal year
These measures will help boost the global investors’ sentiment and may improve the capex cycle going forward. However, much needs to be seen when the real implementation starts.
– Rajesh Laddha, CFO, Piramal Enterprises