As the Union Budget 2015 nears, CNBC-TV 18 arranged a roundtable discussion with some of the CEOs of the India Inc, in order to gain their opinion on the most-awaited event. The roundtable discussion included BMR chairman Mukesh Butani, Shriram Capital’s chairman Arun Duggal, Phillips India MD Krishna Kumar and Jindal Steel and Power CMD Ravi Uppal.
These heads presented their expectations from the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during the discussion. BMR’s Butani said that it is high time for the government to mobilize revenues. He added that the objective could be achieved through additional divestment efforts, sale of stakes in the public sector banks alongside measures to broaden the tax base.
Phillips’ Kumar said that the government should involve itself in laying down a stable tax policy roadmap for the next few years. He said that this should accompany efforts to reduce the cost of capital by toning down the fiscal deficit.
Formation of a banking board
Meanwhile, Shriram’s Duggal said that the finance minister should consider forming a banking board. The idea of forming such banking board is to assist the government in operating public banks on an independent basis and without pressure. Jindal Steel’s CMD Uppal holds the view that the government has a herculean task before it to restore the nation’s chief sectors such as steel, mining, power, etc.
Apart from this roundtable discussion, the India Inc has raised several other demands ahead of the budget. For instance, introduction of Real-Estate Regulatory Bill (RERA), participation of foreign investors in infrastructure development and stimulating consumer demand in FMCG are among some of the steps expected from the government.
Clearly, the expectations set forth this time under the Modi government are higher than in the past. Well, what is heard and done would come open on February 28, 2015, when the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Union Budget.