The COVID 19 pandemic has thrown many unprecedented challenges before the world and crippled the world’s economy to a great extent. It is amid this challenging backdrop that India’s Finance Minister tabled the Union Budget for the year 2021 -22 on February 1, 2021. As the finance bill faced huge expectations from the citizens across all categories, World Trade Center Bhubaneswar in association with the Xavier Institute of Management (XIMB) organized a panel discussion on ‘Union Budget 2019 & its implications” in order to gain an understanding about the budgetary provisions.
Prof. Shubhakant Padhi, Faculty, XIMB moderated the panel discussion. In his initial address he spoke about the significant clean up by the Government in this year’s budget. While terming the budget as a conservative and preservative one he lauded the Government for an impactful budget. He further introduced and invited the panel members for a discussion.
Dr. Soumyakanti Ghosh, Group Economic Advisor, State Bank of India in address spoke about the increased capital expenditure in the budget. While placing his views from the banking sectors perspective he rated the budget quite high as it successfully placed the Indian banking sector in a well-capitalized and positioned it well. Terming the budget as a reasonable and pragmatic one he highlighted its positive impact on the insurance sector and the stock markets.
CA A K Sabat, Partner, AK Sabat & Co labelled the budget as one the best ones. Highlighting the features of the budget he discussed in detailed about the impact of the fiscal deficit management through borrowing, implication of nil COVID charges, disinvestments of RINL and LIC, privatization of banks and RBI’s reserve policy.
Prof. (Dr.) Satyanarayan Mishra, (IES Retd.), Dean KIIT School of Management presented his critical view of the budget. He emphasized on the points such as education, skilling & health as the major sectors which have not received a markable allocation in the budget. While deliberating that a vibrant economy needs more consumption he advocated for a distributive budget. He further insisted on a separate defence budget and increased spending on social infrastructure.
Mr. Srimanata Panda, General Manager (Finance), National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) interpreted the budget from the industry perspective. In his address spoke about the rationalization of the import and export duty. While citing the benefits being extended to the Start-ups in terms of allocation he also highlighted the increased ease of doing business for non-resident Indian investors. He also lauded the announcements pertaining to reduction in customs duty as well as mega textile parks. He also spoke about faceless assessment, appeal and settlement system, capital utilization and industry spending in CAPEX. There are no “big bang announcements for industry” he opined.
Earlier, Mrs. Nimeshika Natarajan, in her welcome address spoke in brief about the existing industrial scenario after the outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic and the importance of the budget amidst the unprecedented financial crisis. Speaking about the Conclave she sighted the success of this fifth consecutive edition.