Subrat Mohanty, Group President, MEMG:
To realise the dream of a USD 5 trillion economy, the growth of workforce would have to be trained into several new-age skills. In the upcoming budget, the government should consider a tax break for investment in skilling in the upcoming budget. This would encourage the workforce to reskill/upskill in newer job roles. In order to have a trained workforce, the student, employees and educational institutions have to start investing in skilling and the government should streamline and incentivise this investment.
- Educational institutions should be encouraged to have specific job/skill related programmes in their curriculum to promote industry readiness
- There should be a metric on the number of skill-related programs a student has undertaken with certification rather than being awarded just another degree
- The government can promote such initiatives in colleges/universities by providing an incentive to those institutions that offer UGC/AICTE approved certified programs in new-age skills
Over the years, the definition of ‘education’ has changed. Professional education (while working) is an important part of having an industry-ready workforce. To allow learners to build new-age skills, the government should consider expanding the definition of ‘education’ for the purpose of education loans. In addition to the recognition of colleges and courses by the competent of authority, education loan providers should also consider the earning potential of the education for which the loan is being sought. Today, the bank ignores the other important details such as the area of specializations and the possible sectors in which he/she might get a job, especially for someone in a low-paying job and wants a job in the high-paying sector. In the era of automation, there is an emerging consensus on upskilling courses being relevant to the industry. It is imperative that initiatives are taken to ease the process of taking loans for skilling programmes.
Both from a social and economic perspective, women should be encouraged to make a comeback to the workforce after breaks due to personal commitments. This is a critical need in certain sectors that have a high demand for a trained workforce. Expanding the government’s initiatives to educate the girl child, there should also be programmes to support women returning to the workforce and even updating their skills. Today, several MNCs are already doing this in an organised manner. We can increase the impact manifold by encouraging the entire corporate ecosystem to support this and help improve gender diversity in the workplace. Organisations investing in training and re-induction of women employees could be supported with commensurate benefits in tax exemption.
Manoj Agarwal, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Xoxoday
“The Indian economy requires some fundamental economic/fiscal/monetary initiatives which can help its growth in a tremendous way. The budget needs to bring a long term sustainable stimulus to the Indian economy. Some of the key expectations are below –
- A stable policy structure that brings confidence and trust from stakeholders. Reduce volatile decision making which reduces investor confidence in the economy.
- Boost for job creation through growth in key industries that have seen a downturn in the past few years like Automobiles, Telecom, Metals, BPO, etc.
- Simple and friendly taxation environment which helps in consumer and industrial spends. An increased spend ll increase tax collection, rather than increasing tax per person or per product/service; govt should look at increasing the output itself which ll give more tax collections.
- Startup India has been a good initiative. However, the government can bring more execution in the policy framework and relax it to cover slightly more mature start-ups. This ll help to build a lot of new companies and jobs because these companies ll emerge out of these mature start-ups. The government can bring policies for both early-stage and mature start-ups as both are important for the economy.
- The economic mood in the country can improve with some forward-looking and consumer-friendly policies and initiatives. Instead of having policies that only benefit a few large companies, we need to have an inclusive mindset that can benefit micro-entrepreneurs, SMEs and shops.
- Govt should encourage SME, shops and bootstrapped companies with tax-free policies etc so that they can compete against the heavily funded, powerful companies. This ll help in the distribution of wealth across segments instead of a winner takes all kinds of market. Fair pricing from online players should be governed to protect small entrepreneurs.”
Gaurav Vohra, Co-Founder and CEO, Jigsaw Academy
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]With an army of approximately 1.2 million people looking to enter the job market every month, it becomes the government’s priority to ensure that the economy is ready to tackle this challenge of employment. Emerging technologies like Cybersecurity, IoT, AI, and Big Data is a burgeoning market and is significantly adding to the job market. Technology is constantly evolving and being obsolete is not an option in the current scenario growth. Allocating funds for upskilling in these domains would be a step in the right direction to help people fill these niche roles. Encouraging ventures in these sought-after domains will be a rewarding initiative.[/perfectpullquote]
Subramania Raju Rajasulochana, Assistant Professor, Area of Finance and Strategy, TAPMI
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]High and rising unemployment among rural youth requires immediate attention from the Government to stimulate the slowing Indian economy growth.
The budget should focus on Education and sustaining skill development is crucial to boost employment in rural areas in both agricultural and non-agricultural sectors. This is, however, a long term outcome that requires a holistic approach in terms of investment in physical infrastructure, filling in all regular vacancies along with appropriate pay structure and improved governance. Annual budget concerns with taxes and expenditures. In this regard, budgetary allocations towards the education sector must be consistent.
Particularly, resources should be increased gradually towards the strengthening of initiatives like SANKALP (Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion Programme). Likewise, tax benefits must be strategic. Mere tinkering of GST rates to boost Edu-tech companies would be myopic and may not yield the desired results. Rather, tax benefits for private sector engagement for training teachers on the latest pedagogies and e-learning resources are likely to more effective and sustaining. Similarly, a public-private partnership for career counselling, internship and vocational training for youth would be a more welcome step. [/perfectpullquote]
Mansij Majumder, HR Head, Manipal Global Education Services (MaGE)
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]We need to focus on skilling and/or reskilling workforce to reach the growth we are expecting. A dedicated provision in the budget for encouraging upskilling programmes within the talent ecosystem for employees who are being retrenched/laid off should be made.
The Labour Code on Industrial Relations Bill 2019 requires further impetus from the government with an increase in funds to enable its seamless implementation. It is also time to look at introducing the concept of fair wages, rather than minimum wages, this will, in the long run, raise the standard of consumption and living in the country.[/perfectpullquote]
Sudhanva Dhananjaya, Secretary NIE Society (The National Institute of Engineering, Mysore)
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The challenge in front of the Govt is to create jobs, and to put more money in the hands of the people can lead to better budget expectation. Financial resources not being available at this stage, they have to borrow more or print money. Either of the options will increase inflation.
The GDP growth could become as low as 4.5 % in case of some the recent updates from sources like Bloomberg etc. It is a Catch 22 situation, unless the Government comes up with novel ideas, in addition to proceeds from selling stakes in public sector assets like Indian Oil Corporation, AIR INDIA (No buyers in the first round because of a high price. The government has to find some creative ways to avoid stagflation.[/perfectpullquote]
Ambrish Sinha, CEO, MeritTrac Services
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The fluid job market needs a Job Loss Insurance which we hope the Budget will propose and can reach the growth. Just as we avail cover for our health and life, there could also be insurance cover for professionals against job losses owing to the economic slowdown. It will give them an impetus to utilise the fund for upskilling or reskilling.[/perfectpullquote]
Rajiv V. Shah, Professor, Chairperson-Finance Area, TAPMI
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Since the focus right now is on consumer spending and availability of liquidity, I expect the IT Act to be amended accordingly. There could be an increase in the limits under section 80C from Rs. 1.5 lakhs currently, upwards by another 50,000-100,000.
Further, to boost savings, PPF limits could also be increased from the current Rs. 1.5 lakhs. Similarly, NPS contribution limits could be increased to further help the stock markets. These limits are dated and inflation has made them quite redundant. The upward revisions would keep them in line with current income and expenditure levels.[/perfectpullquote]
Guruvayurappan, P. V Senior Vice President – HR Omega Healthcare Management Services Pvt. Ltd.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”Income Tax is Direct Tax. When a corporate pays GST, there is a mechanism to get a refund on the input cost. In order to encourage genuine salaried taxpayers, the government should think of returning the GST to the tune of actual tax received from individuals when they consume goods and services paying GST through appropriate proof of purchase in their names. This unique way of encouraging taxpayers will enhance the consumption of goods and services and also encourage people to collect bills when they make purchases.“[/perfectpullquote]
Amber Pabreja, CEO of Trendlyne.com
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Fintech is well-regulated in India, thanks to the efforts of bodies like SEBI. What we would like to see more of, is regulation that also encourages innovation. Countries like the UK and Canada, for example, have ‘sandbox efforts’ that speed up innovative products. These are government programs where data feeds are sponsored by the government and private sector, and provided to young tech companies, to test and build new offerings on. Trying something similar in India would scale up the innovation you see in fintech.
This could, for example, make live market data feed accessible to analytics players. Vendor provide a valuable service to investors – we make the performance of stocks and mutual funds more transparent, we flag underlying problems in balance sheets, management, etc. The tools that are being developed now help even a regular investor access analysis that was once available only to people who could afford an expensive terminal.
The government can also encourage more round tables and discussions with relevant regulators, giving us an opportunity to discuss pain points and opportunities. Considering the transparency, we bring, such efforts to engage the industry would be a net positive for investors.[/perfectpullquote]