About 91 per cent of respondents to an India Inc survey by Deloitte said that the set of measures announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman under ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ have helped put the economy back on the path of recovery. This is a jump from the 58 per cent of respondents who were in favour of the announcements before the last budget, the consultancy agency said in a statement.
“About 91 per cent respondents (compared with 58 percent last year) believe that the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative, coupled with monetary policy actions by the RBI did contribute to bringing the economy back on track. They expect the Union Budget FY23 to build on to this momentum,” Deloitte said.
However, only 18 per cent of the respondents who participated in the pre-budget survey are micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), said a spokesperson for Deloitte. Most of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ measures announced by Sitharaman, starting May 2020, were aimed at smaller businesses, including the credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs, and loan schemes for tourism and other sectors that have been hit the worst by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Optimism and confidence are ruling high amongst Indian businesses as more than 75 per cent respondents (compared with 68 percent last year) were positive about India’s economic growth and expansion, despite the surge seen in the third wave of Covid-19,” it said.
Deloitte said that as per the survey, respondents believed more investment in infrastructure was required. About 55 per cent of the respondents said that extra tax incentives for long-term investors in the infrastructure sector could help promote growth in the country. Adding to this, 45 per cent respondents said that the budget should focus on announcing incentives for increased R&D spending.
“About 56 per cent respondents also believe that the PLI (production-linked incentives) scheme was a game-changer especially for the telecommunication and technology industry, followed by the electronics, and life sciences and healthcare industries,” it said. “More than 60 per cent business leaders feel that the PLI scheme will attract investors and increase manufacturing and exports, which will boost the growth of different sectors and the economy.”
Enhancing export competitiveness, putting in place competitive import tariffs, and reducing administrative inefficiencies were some other expectations that India Inc conveyed through the Deloitte survey. Nearly 35 per cent of the surveyed leaders want the Union Budget to address the issue of extending higher credit support to MSMEs, and an accelerated divestment and asset-monetisation programme.
“The economy has witnessed a steady recovery during FY22. The Indian economy will continue to witness the growth momentum if the government is able to sustain the efforts on implementation of reforms such as asset monetisation for infrastructure growth, and PLI schemes,” said Sanjay Kumar, a partner at Deloitte India.