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The budget 2018-2019, is likely to get some relief for everyone as it is the last full-fledged budget of the BJP-led government ahead of the general elections in 2019 and the government is expected to follow a please-all strategy. The government is diligently working on various permutations and combinations to arrive at the right mix which ensures that the tax burden is not unreasonable and at the same time enough resources are mobilized for infrastructure development. We expect that the finance ministry is working on a proposal to increase the tax exemption limit from INR 2.5 lakh per annum to INR 3 lakh or more and introduce some changes in the tax slabs to lighten the taxpayers' burden. The corporate India also has great expectations from the upcoming Union Budget 2018 as this would be the first post-GST budget and the last before the general elections of 2019. We expect a series of populist policies in this year’s budget including reduction in corporate tax to attract investments and deduction in the GST slabs as well.
We are keen to know about the resources that the government will allocate towards the audio industry. We also appreciate the recent move by Indian Government to allow 100% FDI in Single Brand Retail Trading as this will increase foreign capital in the country and in turn create new avenues to generate more employment opportunities. There is also a need for the government to simplify the GST invoices being issued to the consumers by eliminating the mention of HSN codes on them, removing the need for manual signature and multiple copies. Government should also take necessary steps to ensure a simplified e-way bill system to avoid additional burden on the industry. We hope that the budget gives a lot more in the hands of individual consumers for them to be able to go out there and buy. If consumption in India increases, it re-emphasizes the democratic dividend that India has and this will further support the Make in India movement in the country. This would stimulate consumption and boost retail markets.
With change in lifestyle and preferences, more people are opening up to the idea of music in India and along with government’s support, we will be able to promote this even further. We believe that government will take into account, the growth of audio industry in India and slash the GST rates on audio equipment’s. We are positive that the Union Budget 2018-19 will bring back a lot of glory while keeping in mind the aspirations of budding musicians in the country. I wish our Finance Minister a great luck for the budget 2018-2019 and would like to thank him for diligence to kick-start the next growth revolution in our country.
The author is CFO & director (Operations) at Sennheiser Electronics India