Budget 2017: A round up what industry leaders said about Jaitley’s speech

February 1, 2017 Moneycontrol By   Moneycontrol Bureau

The Union Budget largely received a positive response from experts across the industry. Here’s a round up of what they had to say.

Budget 2017:

Girish Vanvari, Head of Tax, KPMG in India
An additional 10 percent surcharge has been introduced on income between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore which is a dampener for high networth individuals. MSMEs with a turnover of up to Rs 50 crore will benefit from a lower tax rate of 25 percent and there are some concessions to boost the real estate sector.

Sachin Menon – Partner and Head, Indirect tax at KPMG in India
The Budget estimates project a revenue growth of 8.8 percent in indirect tax revenue as opposed to 15.3 percent growth in direct tax revenue without any major increase in the tax rates. That shows the confidence of the government to enforce stricter compliance post demonetisation and GST implementation.

Neha Punater – Partner and Head, Fintech at KPMG in India
The Aadhaar-enabled merchant payments would ensure that the supply-side is also addressed for a digital transaction. We see this a definitive boost for the digital economy.

Neeraj Bansal, Partner and Head of Real Estate and Construction, KPMG in India FM has reduced the holding period for land and building from 3 years to 2 years for long-term capital gains purpose. This would help improve invest ability in properties in comparison to shares and stocks where the period is 1 year.

By granting infrastructure status to affordable housing, the government acknowledges that affordable housing industry is an important driver of the economy.

Jaideep Ghosh, Partner, KPMG in India
Union Budget aims to boost Digital Economy, which will have a positive impact on the telecom sector. Additional outlay of Rs 10,000 crore for BharatNet and creation of ‘Digi- Gaon’ a definite positive to broadband penetration.

Atul Gupta – Partner, Cyber Security, KPMG
Establishing cyber and computer emergency response teams shall support addressing cyber threat and also facilitate increased adoption of digital economy. However, this needs to be implemented effectively with participation from all stakeholders.

Santhosh Jayaram, Partner & Head, Sustainability & CSR Advisory, KPMG
A 100 percent village electrification by May 2018 — A clear off-grid policy should be the first priority as it can attract privately run local mini grids. This is also an opportunity to boost the off-grid renewable power. Mini hydro, solar and biomass based power generation. Hybrid infrastructures will be critical to achieve this goal.

Girish Menon – Director and Lead, Media and Entertainment, KPMG
The M&E sector being largely driven by derived demand for ad spend will be positively impacted by emphasis on increasing domestic consumption and demand.  Additionally, increased allocation to BharatNet and high speed broadband connectivity will expedite digitization.

Anish De, Partner and Head of Oil and gas, KPMG in India
Extension of MAT credit carry forward period to 15 years is a positive for all infrastructure players.  Especially considering the large forthcoming investments in Oil & Gas, the measure will serve to de-risk some of the infrastructure projects in the sector.

Dr. Jaijit Bhattacharya, Partner – Strategy and  Economics, KPMG in India on Infrastructure sector
Budget 2017 has focused on infrastructure, including digital infrastructure, increasing private investments, increase consumption and strengthen social sector and safety net, including health and education. The key feature of the budget appears to be several declared deadlines for outcomes such as elimination of TB by 2025, removal of unmanned crossings in railways by 2019 etc. This makes the budget more accountable and it’s impact and progress can be tracked over a period of time. The budget appears to be able to achieve its stated objectives and would help in growth of consumption and infrastructure development.

Anish Sanghvi, Partner, PwC India
This budget did focus on reforms to the real estate sector and specially for affordable housing. Granting infrastructure status has been a long pending demand of the sector which has finally come through, although currently limited to Affordable Housing only. Difficulties in claiming incentives for affordable housing have been removed with moving the goal post from built up area to carpet area and completion period enhanced to 5 years.

Ajay Kakra- Leader Food and Agriculture, PwC
Overall positive budget for agri sector continuing the focus on farm credit, irrigation schemes and crop insurance segments for facilitating the farming operations. The same impetus should be continued in the schemes like e-NAM, Contract farming reforms and other market reforms to facilitate the trade of agricultural commodities.

Pratik P Jain, Partner and Leader Indirect Tax -PwC
From indirect tax perspective, no major changes were made, which further reconfirms the Government’s commitment to introduce GST at the earliest.    The fact that services tax rate has not gone up (as widely expected) will make the common man happy.There has also been an attempt to incentivise domestic manufacturing by further rationalising the duty structure, which the industry was looking forward to.

Ranen Banerjee, Leader Public Finance and Economics, PwC
I would call this a fiscally prudent reformist budget with realistic deficit target of 3.2 percent. The thrust is on ease of doing business, big push to rural infrastructure and highways and digital financial inclusion. Abolishing FIPB sends out a great message to investors. Corporate tax relief to SMEs with turnover of less than 50 crore to 25 percent would possibly also lead to better compliance. Bringing down the lowest slab personal income tax rate to 5 percent is likely to boost consumption.

Gautam Mehra – Leader Tax, PwC
The FM’s commitment to stay with fiscal discipline while continuing with rural and infrastructure spending is a positive outcome. Honouring the Prime Minister’s dream of housing for all, changes made for affordable housing sector by granting infrastructure status and relaxation in conditions for claiming tax incentive is welcomed. Other forms of reforms including certainty provided for overseas transfers for offshore funds investors should continue the flow of capital into the country, including continuing the lower 5 percent withholding tax rate for debt inflow. Reduction in tax rates for medium and small enterprises and middle class individuals should result in ‘tax inclusion’, which is important given the backdrop of demonetisation and the upcoming GST law. The intent of ease of doing business comes through in the form of domestic TP exemptions, abolition of FIPB, introduction of accountability on tax officers and reduction of timelines for scrutiny.

Sivarama Krishnan, Leader- Cybersecurity, PwC India
The finance minister announced the proposal for establishing a CERT specifically for the financial services sector, which is aligned to the need of the hour and to steps taken by cyber security leaders. Linking regulatory authorities (SEBI and RBI) will help in the development of more comprehensive guidelines and regulations for financial services companies, significantly strengthen threat information sharing (and consequently detection) and compel them to increase their security spending as the CERT takes shape.  The Government in its current budget announcement has only committed to deliver on its promise of ‘Digital India.’ Certain announcements, such as plans to roll-out 20 lac Aadhaar-based swipe machines, promoting BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money), which already has over 1.25 crore users, and digital systems for payments of Government and defense employees highlight the need for strengthening cyber security in the Government. Measures across multiple areas, such as web application security, device security and secure protocols need to implemented to ensure protection of financial transcations and the Government should develop and release standards for the same.

Neel Ratan, Leader- Government and Public Sector, PwC India
The launch of AADHAAR Pay for people without mobile phones will spearhead the country’s transition to digital economy and perhaps make India a global exemplar in the digital arena. Renewed focus on proliferating digital to rural and semi-urban areas will further enhance digital inclusion, bridging the digital divide in the society and fostering financial inclusion.-

Rashmi Deshpande, Associate Partner at Khaitan & Co.
Budget 2017 has prepared a solid foundation for another disruption in form of the incoming GST reform. The Finance Minister indicated that technology is going to play a major role in implementation of Government’s clean up agenda. Accordingly, indirect tax on devices related to digital infrastructure is exempted to give a boost the industry. Nevertheless, contrary to common beliefs, the service tax rates along with excise rates that were pegged to increase to be line with the proposed GST rates, surprisingly remained untouched.

Vinita Krishnan – Associate Director, Khaitan & Co.
It is a Progressive, populist and governance oriented budget. Taxes on SMEs income brought down to 25 percent from 30 percent. “War on black money: New law proposed to seize assets of absconding economic offenders”  Major relief in JDA sector by taxing the gains made by landowners only on project completion. Finally masala bonds gets the much needed tax recipe. Tax losses of start-ups protected from rigours of shareholding changes.

Aakash Choubey, Partner, Khaitan & Co.
Given most sectors are under automatic route, FIPB was losing its significance. Move to abolish it is positive and may give a fillip to FDI, but a lot will depend on a consistent roadmap that Government should lay down.

Kartick Maheshwari, Partner, Khaitan & Co.
Listing and trading of security receipts can potentially allow asset reconstruction companies to access capital markets for financing their acquisition of specific loan portfolios, as well as obtain liquidity by selling exposure to specific portfolios in the public markets. Previously access to such loan portfolios was available only to qualified institutional buyers, and the absence of such listing, had prevented the formation of an accessible / liquid market for trading in such debt.  As in the case from any shift from any “over-the counter” market to an exchange traded platform, this reform can pave the way for better price discovery on distressed loan portfolios.”,

Rajiv Dimri, Leader-Indirect Tax, BMR & Associates LLP
No major indirect tax related announcements are in line with the general expectation as the nation is on the verge of transitioning to GST.  Keeping the service tax rate unchanged and withdrawal of R&D cess are welcome and pragmatic decisions at this juncture for boosting economic growth of the country. R&D cess withdrawal in particular will encourage import of technology and compliments the Make-in-India campaign. Reassurance that the government is up to speed on GST implementation work (including IT preparedness) is good news. Also, commitment to initiate GST awareness / orientation for businesses starting next fiscal, reaffirms the collaborative and inclusive approach of the Government to effectively implement GST. The stated focus areas of the budget 2017 are eliminating black money, promoting a digital economy by facilitating cashless transactions and increasing foreign investment.  However, in view of impending GST, no major steps seem to have been taken from an indirect tax standpoint on these aspects.

Gokul Chaudhri, Leader, Direct Tax, BMR & Associates LLP
The extension from 2017 to 2020 to the concessional withholding tax at 5 percent for foreign debt will be helpful. Equally with the repeal of the R&D Cess Act. The change in the transfer pricing regulations have two fold effect – lesser compliance for domestic transfer pricing, and enhanced impact on international transaction with the introduction of secondary adjustments. Thin capitalisation finally enters the rule book with the introduction of limits on interest payment to a percentage of EBITA. India certainly is adapting quickly to international practices! Quite helpful are the clarifications on indirect transfer and capital gains on property development.   In summary, a budget that contains many helps for small taxpayers, and a few hurts for large taxpayers – with the changes in transfer pricing norms, and more by unfulfilled expectations on tax rate cut on corporate tax, continuity of MAT and absence of capital outlay based incentives.

Milind Kothari, Managing Partner & Head of Direct Tax, BDO India
Post demonetization era, with an intent to move towards less cash economy several measures have been announced by the Hon’ble Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2017. Also, several measures have been proposed to exempt various customs and excise duties on micro ATM, card reader and other instruments (including sub-parts and components) used in the cashless transactions.  Also, in order to curb black money, the Hon’ble Finance Minister proposes to prohibit cash transaction of Rs 3 lakss and more. The necessary provisions enabling prohibition of such transaction will be inserted in the Income Tax Act, 1961. Earlier, the Special Investigation Team in its report to curb black money had recommended the above measure which has been adopted by the Hon’ble Finance Minister.

Ramesh Vaidyanathan, Managing Partner, Advaya Legal
The budget has been big bang as far as infrastructure is concerned, as is evident from the increased allocation for the sector. The sizable government spend on this sector is expected to have a multiplier effect in kick-starting consumption and increasing economic activity. The proposal to grant infrastructure status to affordable housing projects is a great idea. Here again, it could have been combined with an increase in tax exemptions on interest payments, which did not happen. The reduction of the long term capital gains period to 2 years will drive more real estate transactions and help improve sentiment.

Pradeep Lankapalli, Managing Director-South Asia, Thomson Reuters
This Budget reflects strong intent on delivering on the key areas such as tax reforms, digitization and increased compliance. The budget should also pave the way for GST and we  we hope to see a GST compliant India by July 2017. Introduction of AADHAAR pay is yet another welcome step towards making India a ‘Digital’ economy which will help further the digital net and increase digital inclusion. Introducing Computer Emergency Response Team for Financial Sector (CERT-Fin) will also  strengthen the cyber security framework in the country and make digital transactions more transparent and robust.

Prashant Pillai, Director – Corporate Segment, Thomson Reuters
The past year has seen a lot of initiatives been undertaken targeted at inclusive growth and we are pleased to see that that India as a country has a clear strategic direction for its economy with considerable focus on good governance.  This budget is a step in the right direction.  We see a significant boost to investment in rural areas, fillip to corporations in the MSME sector and continued focus on widening the tax base and creating a more tax compliant economy. It was reassuring to note that the technology platform development for GST is on schedule. We see the next few years as critical for corporations to build strong technology infrastructure to be able to comply with these changes, especially 2017, which will be a transformational year for the nation from a tax regime perspective.

OTHERS

Mukundan, Managing Director and CEO, Tata Chemicals
Union Budget 2017-18 has given the much-needed boost to rural economy for an inclusive growth.It is encouraging that the Union budget is focused at strengthening agriculture and rural economy – from farmer welfare to improving opportunities for youth.  The focus of the budget has been to intensify benefits of the past year’s transformational reforms like the passing of GST Bill and the Demonetisation, as well as a strong thrust on technology and digitalization. The clear approach of ten distinct themes, impacting both economic and social development has demonstrated the FM’s balancing act between government spending and fiscal consolidation.  Further, with announcements on tax reforms, end-to-end transport solutions for logistics, reduction of basic customs duty on LNG from 5% to 2.5%, creation of integrated public sector ‘oil major’ and simplification of labour laws holds a lot of promise.

Dhiraj Relli, MD & CEO, HDFC securities.
FM’s fourth Budget, has put India back on the shopping list of FIIs. The government  had a tough call of treading very carefully between the need for stimulating  demand in a weak economic environment after demonetization and continuing on the path of fiscal consolidation.

Another good step taken in this budget is that the term for eligibility of long term capital gains tax on house property has been pruned down from three years to two. This would mean that investors can sell their house property a year earlier and still be eligible for lower tax.

But what is more striking is the fact that basket of financial instruments has been expanded, which gives the investors more option to invest and still avoid paying tax. This will have very far reaching impact on the financial markets. This will unlock the real estate investments and divert them to financial instruments, which would be beneficial for GDP as these will have a higher velocity.

This growth oriented budget will make the FIIs return to India.

Arvind Chari, Head – Fixed Income & Alternatives, Quantum Advisors
The Budget was neither popular nor populist. It was a rather tepid budget, as has been the case lately.

Achin Goel, Head- Wealth Management & Financial Planning, Bonanza Portfolio Budget was as per expectations with no major changes. Expenditures are well directed towards economic growth and development and increased revenues are expected to come by passage of GST and listing of more PSU’s apart from other sources.

Ashish Hemrajani, CEO and Co-founder, BookMyShow
We look forward to the GST (Goods and Services Tax) roll out in the coming financial year. The e-commerce space will hugely benefit from real time taxation which not only will introduce the required transparency but will further enable free flow of products and services.

A unified tax structure would also help in removing ambiguity and ease the process for e-tax application and collection. The Industry and the Government will both be winners.

Getamber Anand, President, CREDAI National
The real estate industry thanks the government for understanding the need to enable efficient supply of housing stock in the country. Affordable Housing has been declared ‘Infrastructure’ with all its associated benefits. Additional refinance of Rs 20,000 crore from NHB and lower interest rates resulting from increased liquidity in the banking sector would add to the funds for the sector at lower costs to the ultimate consumer.

Long term capital gains tax benefits on housing which could be availed after 3 years has been brought down to 2 years. Real estate sector as an asset class would gain as a store of value. This is an extremely good news for real estate investors as they can book profits by paying a bare minimum income tax at the end of two years only on profits earned from sale of property.

K Ravichandran, Group Head, Corporate Sector ratings, ICRA
The creation of additional strategic oil reserves will boost the energy security of the nation, besides the refineries. Reduction in BCD on LNG is a welcome move, which will make LNG more affordable to end users in industrial category such as ceramics, glass, chemicals besides large consumers such as power and fertilizer sectors. This is a credit positive for existing regasification terminal owners such as PLL, GAIL and Shell India, besides new projects being set up.

Moreover, it will help gas marketers and CGD companies such as IGL, MGL and Gujarat Gas. As regards the creation of an integrated oil major, while the idea is certainly laudable which will strengthen the business and financial risk profile of the combined entity, key challenge will be integration issues especially on the HR side.

Anil Kothuri, President & Head of Edelweiss Retail Finance
In line with the Prime Minister’s speech on new year’s eve, the budget carries forward the government’s agenda of ‘Housing for All’ and of rejuvenating  the SME sector, post demonetisation.

Further, the budget is not inflationary. Consequently, interest rates are expected to be benign, which will lower the EMIs on home loans.The SME sector will benefit through lower tax rates (25 percent) for all companies with a turnover of up to Rs 50 crore. The enhanced lending under MUDRA (Rs 2.44 lakh crore) will also help over 20 lakh SMEs avail working capital loans. This will help partly offset the higher tax compliance intended from this sector.Thus, the middle class will benefit owing to these measures – on affordable housing, SMEs and lower personal tax rates up to Rs 5 lakh.

Brotin Banerjee, MD & CEO, Tata Housing
Infrastructure status to affordable housing comes as a landmark announcement for the consumers and the real estate industry. A long-standing demand of the sector, the government has realised that housing & infrastructure can be two pillars to increase GDP and accelerate economic growth.The new status will increase the resource allocation for the sector, catalysing housing supply and reducing the supply gap.

This budget has brought us a step closer in achieving the mission of providing Housing for all. Implementation of these schemes will be essential for its success. Clarity on the definition of ‘affordable housing’ will be useful.  This is very beneficial for Tata Housing as a pan-India developer which is currently developing more than 40 million sq. ft. of affordable housing.

Rohit Poddar, Managing Director, Poddar Housing & Development
This is a very positive budget for the affordable housing sector. Several practical points have been  addressed that were previously limiting the creation of large scale supply. Infra status to the sector will allow specially the MSEM’s access to Capital and bank debt and hence improve the liquidity situation in this sector. Scale cannot be achieved by 3-4 corporates alone partaking in this sector and it has to involve the MSEM’s actively.

The tax holiday status for projects with apartments of a carpet area of up to 30 square metres in the municipal limits of the 4 metros and Upto 60 square metres for apartments located outside the municipal limits of metros and anywhere in other cities and towns,  clearly defines the size and location of the project and apartments with no room for ambiguity.The increase in time frame for tax free status of projects from 3 years to 5 years for project completion post approvals. It is also excellent as several affordable housing projects are townships that would take 5 years for completion

Jimmy Patel, CEO-Quantum AMC
The budget has focused on the rural sector and a marginal push to infrastructure in terms of road expansion and railways has been given.In terms of digital payments – the Aadhaar Pay In app and withdrawal of service charge on rail ticket booked through IRCTC etc. are small steps toward digital payments, a lot more could have been done here to make the economy even more digital, not much else was disclosed on this front.

Sapan Gupta, National Practice Head – Banking & Finance, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co
The Budget is a mixed bag for the banking industry. Nothing substantial has been announced on dealing with NPA. However, the Government expenditure will boost consumption and credit, and the inclusion of affordable housing under Infrastructure is a forward-looking step.

Sanjay Rishi, Regional President, American Express
Budget lays strong emphasis on strengthening the digital payments ecosystem in the country.The initiatives announced today such as reduction of excise duty on manufacturing of payment devices and exemption of SAD on miniature PoS & m-PoS machines; roll out of 1 mn new PoS terminals by banks; and setting-up of Payment Regulatory Board in RBI to regulate electronic payments – will  further boost India’s digital economy.

Abhishek Lodha, MD, Lodha Group
Simplification of rules qualifying affordable housing, tax holiday under 80 IBA and infrastructure status to this segment are significant positive moves by the government. These initiatives will in turn boost the overall economy as there will be more participation by developers in this area. Reduction in home loan rates has already proven to be beneficial for housing demand and it will further increase with the help of above measures.

Prateek Agrawal, Business Head & CIO, ASK Investment Managers
Budget has kept the focus on fiscal discipline and is projecting a fiscal deficit of only 3.2 percent with lower government borrowing target, yields have softened from already low levels. This is a long term positive both for the economy and for the government

Jaspal Bindra, Chairman, Centrum Group
The financial discipline demonstrated in this budget with the fiscal deficit targeted at 3.2% of GDP is a big positive for the economy, as it keeps us in consideration for a rating upgrade by international agencies in the year ahead. In addition, the reforms proposed to be rolled out in the FDI policy by phasing out FIPB, and the clarity offered in terms of Foreign Portfolio Investor (FPI) taxation, strengthen India’s position as an attractive destination for global capital. The FM has struck the right balance between stimulating the economy with a good boost to the rural economy and the infrastructure sectors, while simultaneously garnering higher tax revenues. This has been done with no additional tax burden, but by enhancing the tax base and ensuring greater tax compliance.

Mr. Munish Sharda, MD & CEO, Future Generali India Life Insurance
The Union Budget has done a fine balancing act of boosting growth by spending more on rural areas, infrastructure and fiscal prudence. A higher infrastructure spend was much needed to kick start the investment cycle to provide fillip to growth. With the impact of demonetization being the highest in cash based rural economy, Union Budget has rightfully taken a lot of initiatives to reinvigorate rural sector. The other theme of the Budget was curbing tax evasion with a thrust on promoting digital transactions and widening tax base by giving sops to tax payers in lower income bracket. Overall, the Budget is a very structured one and is carefully crafted to boost people’s spending power, create jobs and improve rural income.

K.G. Krishnamoorthy Rao, MD & CEO, Future Generali India Insurance Health Insurance
In Union budget 2017, our honourable FM majorly focused on the importance of digital payments across sectors including hospitals. This will encourage people to pay insurance premium through digital mode. Additionally, it will direct customers to open e-insurance accounts and also help us to settle claims through digital mode. The tax reduction for individuals with income upto Rs 5 lakh will give an opportunity to young tax payers to buy Health Insurance from an early age for themselves and parents. FM’s proposal to amend drug rules to ensure drugs and medical devises are available at affordable prices will definitely lighten the burden on pockets of individuals. Home Insurance: Government’s aim to build one crore houses by 2019 will prove to be an impetus to the Home Insurance segment.

Jyoti Vaswani, Chief Investment Officer, Future Generali India Life Insurance
The Budget is pragmatic and attempts to achieve a fine balance between growth and fiscal prudence. It has tried to alleviate the negative impact of demonetisation on consumption and growth by giving a significant boost to infrastructure and rural growth. The rationalisation of income tax will provide a consumption fillip and will bring more people in the tax net.  No change in the capital gains tax for equity has been taken very positively by the market. Curb on cash transactions above 3 lacs, transparency on political funding and focus on increasing tax net are further steps to curb black money in the economy. Adherence to fiscal prudence and roadmap for bringing down the general govt. debt to 60 percent is commendable and should be well received by markets and credit rating agencies.

Sandeep Patel, CEO & MD, Cigna TTK Health Insurance
The government announcement to exempt individual insurance agents from TDS requirement on commission, subject to their income below taxable limit is heartening. Insurance agents play an integral role in creating awareness and selling insurance products, it is long pending demand of the insurance industry that has been fulfilled in this budget. The Union Budget proposal to amend the drugs and cosmetics rules to ensure availability of drugs at reasonable prices, and promote use of generic medicines is encouraging for healthcare sector. The proposal to formulate new rules for regulating medical devices will attract investment and reduce the cost of such devices.

M Ravichandran, President – Insurance, Tata AIG General Insurance.
With a view to boost the agricultural sector, the government has increased the coverage under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana from 30% to 40% in 2017-18 and 50% in 2018-19 which will help farmers get insured. Farmers will also benefit further with the government spending Rs 13,240 Cr in FY 18 on crop insurance.” Also, with the government emphasising further on digital India and cyber security, this will help strengthen a transparent financial ecosystem. The disposable income for individuals earning between Rs. 2.5 – 5 lakh will increase due to the reduction in tax to 5% from the current 10%. This will in turn encourage the lower and middle income strata of people to invest in instruments such as insurance, mutual funds, fixed deposits etc

Kalpana Sampat, CEO, Swiss Re India Branch
Increasing allocations for Fasal Bima Yojana and targeting greater insurance coverage is a positive move to close the protection gap in agriculture. A robust crop insurance framework is an important stepping stone towards food security and financial stability for farmers. Efficient irrigation is the need of the hour and the dedicated micro-irrigation fund is also a welcome move. Finally, the health action plan is an important acknowledgment that the country needs to improve access to health care.

Jonathan Anchen, Head of Economic Research & Consulting, India, Swiss Re
It is a balanced budget with several measures to ease the process of doing business. This will positively impact economic growth. The initiatives to incentivise manufacturing, clear red tape for foreign investment, institutionalise the dispute resolution mechanism for infrastructure projects, higher allocation for highways, etc, are very positive steps. The digital economy too will get a strong boost with high-speed broadband connectivity on optic fibers, and encouraging digital transactions.”

RK Gupta, ED, Bank of Maharashtra Executive Director
Keeping in line with the vision of ‘Housing for All’ by 2022, a part of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, the budget’s focus on the affordable housing segment will lead to significant uptake in home loan products.

Rakesh Sharma, MD & CEO, Canara Bank
Thrust on digitalisation would encourage banks to step up their technological and automation drive.  Fiscal deficit for 2017-18 pegged at 3.2% and for next three years at 3 percent is good and would be reassuring both in India and abroad.  Amendment to SARFAESI Act will be helpful to the banks.