Bal krishen, Special to Khaleej Times, Dated February 02 2021
Non-resident Indians in the UAE have greeted the 2021-22 budget as a recovery-focused and reform-driven initiative featuring some key game-changing measures for overseas Diaspora.
They have been near-unanimous in declaring the budget presented on Monday by Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as NRI-friendly with a proposal to avoid double taxation while opening the One Person Company (OPC) sector for NRIs.
Following are comments made by a cross-section of NRIs in the UAE:”
Yusuffali MA, chairman of Lulu Group: A magical budget that is sure to propel the Indian economy even amidst the global pandemic challenges. Very glad to note that there are some very specific steps being taken to tap the NRI investments. OPCs are going to be a game-changer.
Dr Azad Moopen, Chairman, Aster DM Healthcare: We are glad that the total budget outlay for health and well-being has increased by 137 per cent to Rs2.24 trillion. OPCs will enable NRIs to start fresh venture and earn a living.
PNC Menon, chairman Sobha Group: Increasing the tax threshold for NRIs from Rs50 million to Rs.100 million and rules to avoid double taxation on NRI income are welcome initiatives. New health infra scheme is also a major step.
Ram Buxani, Chairman, ITL-Cosmos Group: The importance to the UAE in the budget makes NRIs here proud. A phenomenal Sensex rally points during budget speech is proof how investors view it. Disinvestment plan in several PSUs prove that business of the government is not to do business.
Mahendra Patel, chairman, Geap Group: An exceptional budget under exceptional circumstances. A brilliant growth-oriented budget that gives a fillip to growth and development. Good move to retain the existing tax structure. Increase in FDI in banking and insurance sectors is welcome.
Paras Shahdadpuri, Chairman of Nikai Group: An excellent, exceptional, and game-changer budget. No new taxes as was widely feared. It deserves 9 out of 10 marks. Infra has been in focus, it requires massive investments where NRIs can help with their huge capacity to contribute.
Rizwan Sajan, chairman, Danube Group: A target of 11 per cent growth makes the budget a remarkable one. Tax holiday for startups is a great move. Several good initiatives in the budget will speed up recovery and growth. The stock market has greeted it with a positive response.
Bharat Bhatia, CEO, Conares: A game-changer budget. It has all the ingredients to spur growth. The budget put in place new customs structure effective from October 2021. The revoking on anti-dumping duties and countervailing duties on certain steel products is a welcome step.
Thomas KV, chairman, Thomsun Group: Disinvestment of Rs1.75 trillion in public sector banks and insurance companies will generate liquidity for development of infrastructure projects.
Mohan Valrani, chairman, Arcadia Education: A growth-oriented budget with greater emphasis on infrastructure, healthcare and education and the highest ever increase in capital outlay for the defence sector. Measures proposed to reduce the compliance burden of taxpayers are welcome.
Faizal Kottikollon, chairman, KEF Holdings: Increased spending on healthcare is the need of the hour. Tax holidays on startups and avoidance of double taxations are great steps.
Anis Sajan, managing director, Danube Home: A very balanced budget with a focus on improving healthcare, infrastructure and Atmanirbhar Bharat. Huge allocation for healthcare, Covid vaccines and development of highways are the main highlights.
Suresh Kumar, chairman, Indian Business and Professional Council, Dubai: A "nation-building" budget with large outlays for healthcare and infrastructure; which should create much-needed new jobs. Banking and insurance sectors have got liberalisation boosts. On double taxation, the Finance Ministry should engage with overseas NRIs and business councils.
Kamal Vachani, Group Director, Al Maya Group: Several of social welfare schemes, minimum wage provision for all categories of workers, allowing women to work in all categories with adequate protection, exemption of filing returns for senior citizens of over 75 years are great proposals.
Surender Singh Kandhari, Chairman Al Dobowi Group: The budget is friendly towards Indians, especially NRI’s. The backbone of any country is its infrastructure. A huge allocation for infrastructure will help the country to grow into a $5 trillion economy.
Adeeb Ahamed, managing director, Lulu Financial Holdings: The budget is accommodative of the needs of NRIs by ramping up provisions for investments and proposing measures to remove double taxation. The government’s thrust on digital initiatives and continuous infrastructure spending is also rightly placed.
Dr Sunny Kurian, chairman, IBPC Sharjah: Trying times call for bold measures and Indian Budget 2021 has tried to do that. Disinvestment and privatisation of select sectors augur well for the economy. We welcome it as there is no additional personal or corporate taxation while the focus is on infrastructure development.
Raju Menon, chairman, Kreston Menon: Increased share of FDI in insurance sector from 49 per cent to 74 per cent will bring external funds more into the system which will be utilized eventually for public care projects. Measures to clean up NPAs from the banking sector are a good move.
Sudesh Aggarwal, chairman, Giant Group: In the first post-Covid budget government assured that it cares for the health and well-being of its people. There is a push on infra projects and economic activity and I hope it shall lead to real-time employment generation. Doubling the income of farmers is illusive.
James Mathew, convener – NRI Affairs, IBPC: Reducing custom duty to curb smuggling and One Person Company can bring in some positive changes. Raising money from disinvestments to possibly find a solution to unemployment is a welcome move.
Anish Mehta, chairman The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Dubai Chapter: The budget has not given additional tax sops to individuals or NRI’s but also not increased any tax rates. NRI’s dispute can be resolved online which is a welcome step.
Neeraj Ritolia, chairman, ICAI Abu Dhabi Chapter: Direct taxes remain unchanged. Boost in healthcare and infrastructure sector. NRIs are now enabled to set up OPCs. Increase in FDI for the insurance sector and elimination of double taxation for NRI foreign retirement funds bring cheers to the Indian diaspora.
Dr Raza Siddiqui, executive director, RAK Hospital: Certainly a “budget like never before” and a very good budget focused on reviving the economy by increasing the capital expenditure. Happy to see spending on healthcare increasing by 137 per cent. The budget also brings a lot of cheer to NRIs.
Sunny Kulathakkal, president Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin: The avoidance of double taxation on NRI income and the move to allow NRIs to set up OPCs are positive steps that will encourage investments.
Abdulla Nalapad, managing director, Nalapad Investments:
The budget shows a strong path the nation would travel in the next five to ten years in boosting income and enhancing purchasing power. It should have given much-needed emphasis to support MSMEs and in generation of employment.
John George, vice chairman, ICAI Abu Dhabi Chapter: Budget was focused, and addressed certain core areas that will boost the economy. It is a big relief to taxpayers by restricting reopening of Income Tax assessment to three years. The budget will bring inclusive growth in India.
Krishnan N V, general secretary, ICAI Abu Dhabi Chapter: Truly a six-pillared budget which has been primarily focused on health care, manufacturing, agricultural reforms, human capital , R&D and maximum governance. Lot of planning has been done to recover from the pandemic quickly.
Naveen Sharma, convener, Accounting, Audit & Advisory Services Focus Group, IBPC: There is no shock, no extra tax in the budget. But more focus on deregulation and transparent tax system. Big boost to start-ups and incentives for digitalization are in line with making Indian economy reach $5 Trillion in the next 5 years.
K V Shamsudheen, chairman, Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust: A budget for growth with next-gen reforms. Focus on healthcare, infra, financial sector. Kerala got the highest outlay of Rs 650 billion in the history for 1100 km national highway and Rs19.57 billion for Cochin Metro expansion. It is the highest offer from centre in the history of Kerala.
Subrato Saha, director, AquaChemie: The allocation of Rs5.54 trillion towards capital expenditure is smart. There are futuristic elements such a vehicle scrapping policy and also allocation for new health schemes will help the citizenry in general. What touched me the most is senior citizen relaxation for tax compliance.
Ajay Sharma, managing director, Valuation Services at Colliers International India: Affordable housing project gets a boost with both buyers and builders by increasing the tenure of tax subsidy by a year. Further rental housing gets a bigger boost by having a tax deduction for those undertaking rental housing projects.
Chirag Agarwal, director at Earningo Accounting & Tax Consultancy: The budget aims at to improve the physical quality of life through National Infrastructure Pipeline by announcing 1,100 kilometres national highway work in Kerala and 675 kilometres of highway work in West Bengal. The Finance Minister also proposes the rule for removing NRI hardship of double taxation which would reduce the tax compliance burden.
Lakshmi Iyer, a chief investment officer of debt and head of products, Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company Limited: Budget Fy 22 has been a fairly realistic one on all counts. The thrust has been on capital expenditure which has seen an increase of 26per cent over previous Fin year. There has been emphasis on infrastructure and the BFSI sector and focus on healthcare too. While there is consciousness on being fiscally responsible, for FY 22 the total fiscal deficit has been pegged at 6.8per cent of GDP – signalling higher market borrowing to fund Capex.
A. Balasubramanian, MD & CEO, Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Limited: The honourable Finance Minister has presented a Budget that looks at strengthening the country’s important levers and pillars of growth. It is an expansionary Budget with a focus on the priority items. The extensive capital expenditure plans augur well for the country. The Infra push through Capex outlay and a Development Financial Institution will help propel the country towards next leg of growth, at the same time enable employment generation.
Sailesh Raj Bhan, Deputy CIO - Equity, Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management Limited: Uncomplicated Budget in my opinion focused on continuity and growth. Right areas of focus.. divestment, monetisation of assets in PSUs and Investment thrust without disturbing consumption growth. Fiscal leeway used for capex increase. Roadmap to normalise fiscal deficit, very favourable for economic push and growth. Numbers are realistic. No adverse taxation related developments.It was easy to tax more..but govt let it go..
Bharat J. Mehra, economic strategist: If India can pull 11 per cent growth next year with this budget, recovering from 7.7 per cent contraction this year, India will lead global recovery from the pandemic. It will be tough but doable. The budget is balanced and has enough reasons for the stock market and all of us to cheer.Source: Khaleej Times