The current government came in power on its promise of economic growth and employment generation and therefore the main expectations continue to be on a broad range of economic reforms to revive economy and improve employment opportunities.In its first nine months, government has announced a number of initiatives but now it needs to spell out the details of execution plans more clearly.
Firstly, Finance Minister should look at rationalization of taxes to put more money in peoples’ hands to improve customer demand, while clearly spelling out the fiscal incentives for its ‘Make in India’ program with special thrust on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) that encourages manufacturing rather than importing. Government also needs to take forward the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill by providing more clarity on states’ allocation and implementation roadmap to create a single market throughout India. Rationalization of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT), Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) & Transfer Pricing will also go a long way to boost the investment climate.
I am a little concerned about the obsession with fiscal deficit and would like to see an increase in government spending to restart the investment cycle to urgently put our economy on ‘flight path’ in absence of which, the job creation will continue to remain stagnant. In previous budget, a number of new projects were piloted with an allocation of Rs 100 Cr. The 2015 budget needs to assess the progress of these projects and provide appropriate allocations to take them forward.
Better opportunities for education and skill development should be another key focus area to enable more people seek better employment opportunities. Apart from increasing the budget allocation for education, we should also look at attracting foreign investments & global universities to transform our education sector.