Article: Budget 2024-2025: Tax relief, job growth top wishlists

Skilling

Budget 2024-2025: Tax relief, job growth top wishlists

Economic growth and job creation top the list of expectations from India Inc. Can the government deliver on corporate India's growth wishlist?
Budget 2024-2025: Tax relief, job growth top wishlists

Will the "Viksit Bharat" Budget live up to its name? As India hurtles towards the unveiling of the Union Budget 2024-2025, India Inc. is eagerly awaiting the government's plans to steer the nation's economic course. Scheduled for presentation by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on July 23, 2024,  this budget, coming at the outset of the National Democratic Alliance's third term, carries significant weight in shaping the country's economic future.

Building upon the foundation laid by the Interim Budget of February 2024, which emphasized social welfare and self-reliance under the "Atmanirbhar Bharat" initiative, the upcoming blueprint must navigate a delicate path – fostering economic growth while prioritizing the needs of India's most vulnerable. 

From potential tax reforms to initiatives fostering innovation, the budget's provisions are expected to significantly influence the operational landscape for businesses nationwide. 

Growth and job creation

Businesses are united in their call for robust economic growth and job creation. Tarun Chugh of Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance emphasizes the need for measures that not only sustain but also accelerate long-term growth. This sentiment finds echoes in expectations of higher disposable income, potentially leading to increased investment in insurance and savings. Assocham advocates for a rationalized and simplified tax system to improve compliance and promote investment. Rahul Garg of Moglix stresses the potential of the PLI scheme to be a game-changer for manufacturing, fostering innovation, export growth, and job creation.

Gaurav Gupta, Partner and GCC Industry Leader at Deloitte India, underscores the importance of government support in developing tier-2 locations as hubs for Global Capability Centers (GCCs). This approach, Gupta suggests, could unlock opportunities for talent outside major cities and create a more balanced economic landscape.

Skilling the workforce

The need for a skilled workforce to navigate the ever-evolving job market is a recurring theme. Jasvinder Bedi of Biz Staffing Comrade emphasizes upskilling and reskilling initiatives, including vocational training, STEM education, and digital upskilling programs. He also suggests revamping labor codes to be more adaptable to the modern workplace. Gaurav Gupta of Deloitte India highlights the growing demand for advanced skills like AI and machine learning, urging the government to support stakeholders in developing training programs.

The fintech sector seeks a budget that promotes innovation and facilitates digital transformation. Regulatory frameworks that encourage entrepreneurship, attract investments, and support advanced technologies are crucial for fintech companies, as expressed by the CEO of PaySprint. Additionally, there's a push for sustainability, with a focus on green fintech initiatives and ESG principles.

Several sectors have specific tax-related expectations. Mahesh Krishnamoorthy of Core Integra suggests raising the basic exemption slab and simplifying tax rates. Tarun Chugh of Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance advocates for a lower GST on life insurance products and aligning life insurance annuity products with the National Pension Scheme for tax benefits. Smita Shetty Kapoor of Kelp proposes lowering the GST on employment services to create more jobs and encourage youth employment.

Beyond these overarching themes, some industries have unique priorities. NASSCOM, representing the IT sector, seeks measures to improve the tax competitiveness of the transfer pricing regime and facilitate direct listing of Indian-origin foreign incorporated startups in India. Essar Power commends the government's focus on green initiatives and promoting Advanced Ultra Super Critical (AUSC) power plants for a cleaner future.

Corporate India's wishlist underscores the desire for a holistic approach that fosters growth, creates jobs, equips the workforce for the future, and promotes innovation across various sectors. As the budget unfolds, it will be interesting to see how the government addresses these diverse expectations and shapes the nation's economic landscape.

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Topics: Skilling, #Budget2024, #Jobs

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