CII-Moneycontrol CEO Budget Survey | India Inc wants focus on public spending, manufacturing sector

The poll was conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India’s oldest and largest industry body, exclusively for Moneycontrol. It took responses from more than 80 CEOs of the country’s top business houses. In it, the corporate honchos laid down their expectations from the government in and beyond the Union Budget 2021-22, as well as their thoughts on the economy in 2021.

January 25, 2021 / 11:58 AM IST

Higher public spending, and focus on infrastructure and manufacturing sectors are the three key priority areas which Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman needs to address in her upcoming Union Budget 2021-22, leading figures of India Inc said as part of the CII-Moneycontrol CEO Budget Survey.

The poll was conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India’s oldest and largest industry body, exclusively for Moneycontrol. It took responses from more than 80 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the country’s top business houses. In it, the corporate honchos laid down their expectations from the government in and beyond the budget, as well as their thoughts on the economy in 2021.

Sixty four per cent of the respondents polled said they expected a slow and gradual recovery in 2021 for their businesses, while 22 per cent said they expected a sharp pick up. Five per cent of the respondents said they expected the slowdown to continue into 2021, while 10 per cent of the respondents said the pace of recovery depended on factors like the pace of demand pick-up, commodity prices, capacity utilization, and global trends.

In the upcoming budget, Sitharaman’s biggest focus should be on manufacturing and industry, said 65 per cent of the CEOs polled. Thirty six per cent said healthcare sector should be the main focus, while services (hospitality, aviation, tourism) and agriculture was singled out by 31 per cent and 29 per cent of the respondents, respectively. Eighteen per cent of those polled said the budget should also focus on rural infrastructure, education, housing, and IT infrastructure, among others.

The most important step that the government can take in the budget is to announce record capital expenditure, said 29 per cent of the respondents, while 24 per cent said individuals should be given tax breaks to ensure greater disposable income. Outside the budget, 31 per cent of the respondents said the Goods and Service Tax Council should further simplify the nationwide tax, while 25 per cent said petroleum products should be brought under the GST.

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In order to create more jobs, the government needs to provide incentives to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to expand and hire more, said 55 per cent of the respondents, while 53 per cent said public spending needs to be pushed in large infrastructure projects, thus creating more work.

Below is the CII-Moneycontrol CEO Poll. Some of the polls may not add up to 100 because of the multiple choice of answers provided:

Focus areas

In the upcoming budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s biggest focus should be on manufacturing and industry, said 65 per cent of the CEOs polled.

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Reviving economy

The most important step that the government can take in the budget is to announce record capital expenditure, said 29 per cent of the respondents.

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Employment creation

In order to create more jobs, the government needs to provide incentives to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to expand and hire more, said 55 per cent of the respondents.

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Reform measures

Outside the budget, 31 per cent of the respondents said the Goods and Service Tax Council should further simplify the nationwide tax.

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Demand revival

Sixty four per cent of the respondents polled said they expected a slow and gradual recovery in 2021 for their businesses.

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Tax reforms

Fifty two percent respondents polled sought further rationalisation in the Income Tax rates.

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Arup Roychoudhury
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