The Budget was optimistic, yet realistic, and set the direction for policy. Not just with direct increase in capital expenditure, but it also set up mechanisms that allows this to multiply such as the National Investment and Infra Fund. The push to curb black money and bring more money from the cash economy to the formal economy would garner savings and widen the tax base. The finance minister's bigger target for disinvestment next year is welcome.
The establishment of a bankruptcy code and bringing NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Companies) under The Sarfaesi Act will help in the recovery process for lenders. NBFCs have evolved as important financial intermediaries particularly for small-scale industries and the retail sector. According to the Economic Survey, NBFCs accounted for 13.1 per cent of bank assets as on March 31, 2014. Allowing NBFCs coverage under Sarfaesi will empower them to extend credit in under-served areas.
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The move to get more money from physical assets into financial assets is clearly visible through two schemes. The gold monetisation scheme should help reduce investment demand for this asset and help reduce imports. The push for REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) should allow monetisation of real estate assets and provide a multiplier effect through increased construction.
CEO Financial Services, Aditya Birla Group