IIM Raipur hosted a panel discussion on Union Budget 2016-17 at its premises on 3rd March 2016 after the budget was announced by the Finance Minister on 28th February 2016. The panel consisted of Shri. Pradeep Kumar, IRS Commissioner, Shri B.K Mohanty, Accountant General Chhattisgarh, Prof. N.M. Nagarkar, Director AIIMS Raipur, Shri Dinesh Agarwal, Executive Director Hira Group, Dr. Debdatta Pal, Prof. Vinay Goal and Director IIM Raipur Prof. B.S. Sahay.
Opening the discussion, Dr. Debdatta Pal, Professor of Economics, briefed how India has been hailed as a ‘bright spot’ amidst a slowing economy by IMF as it registered a growth of 7.6% during 2015-16 and how it has achieved robust growth despite very unfavourable conditions as there has been a shortfall in monsoon of about 13% for past couple of years.
Prof. B.S. Sahay, Director, IIM Raipur gave a thumbs up to the budget by rating it as 10/10. The budget was people centric and the farmers will be much benefitted by the various schemes laid down in this budget.
Prof. N.M. Nagarkar emphasized on how the budget is going to boost the public medical expenditure as there is substantial budget allocated for medical while Prof Vinay Goyal stressed upon the fact that the success of the budget is primarily determined by individual tax payers by the changes in tax slab as 60% of the government income is from tax.
Shri B.K. Mohanty said that this budget is for those 85% of people in India who even after working hard find it difficult to fulfil the basic requirements. The schemes like disclosure of Black Money have little effect in comparison to the schemes focusing on infrastructure, water highway which caters to multiple segment. He substantiated this with an example that for a housing project, 16 types of people get employment opportunities- masons, carpenters etc. And so the focus should be on such schemes.
The discussion also revolved around ‘Agriculture and Rural Development’ where the panellists spoke about how India’s agricultural sector needed a stimulus. The panel examined some of the key features of this year’s budget with respect to the agricultural sector and identified key areas of focus such as a dedicated long term irrigation fund, programme for sustainable management of ground water resources amongst various other areas. The panel felt that focus on agricultural sector and leveraging the technology to provide transparency and convenience to farmers is a key point in Budget 2016. The panel dwelled upon the need for skill development in the agricultural sector. Although sufficient infrastructure was in place to facilitate skill development in the agricultural sector it was seldom used effectively.
Budgetary allocations to improve the quality of agricultural training institutes that might encourage more candidates to enrol into courses related to agriculture and this year’s budget does that by allocating a sum of INR 35,984 crore towards agriculture and farmers welfare.
The panellists also discussed the budgetary allocation in the area of ‘Infrastructure andIndustry’. The panel spoke on the takeaways from the budget for the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors. India’s development story depends heavily on how the country’s infrastructure and industry sector perform. The panel discussed on the move to provide 100% tax exemption, for the start-ups, for the 3 years is a major step toward pushing more number of Entrepreneurs in India. Also, the incentives being given to the new manufacturing companies and small enterprise companies will give a boost to the Start-Up India initiative.
The panel also emphasized the importance of investment in the road sector (allocation for which is INR 97,000 crore in the current budget), amendments in the Motor Vehicle Act, and policies for management of Government investment in Public Sector Enterprises among other areas towards developing infrastructure in the country.
The event’s final discussion was on ‘The Financial Sector’ including the banking sector, insurance sector, capital market and taxation. The panellists ended the discussion with how the expectations from the budget were high and how it met some of those expectations by bringing in policies that would improve the sector that is the largest source of employment in the country.
The panel discussion concluded with a summary of discussion by Prof. Debdatta Pal of IIM Raipur. The panel discussion was followed by a Q&A round which saw the enthusiastic IIM Raipur students engaging in a discussion with the eminent panel.
Prof. Pradyumna Dash, Professor, IIM Raipur delivered the Vote of Thanks which concluded the event. This was an enriching experience for the students and the effort was appreciated by all.
The post-budget discussion at IIM Raipur was encouraged by the professors so that it created knowledge sharing opportunities. It created awareness and gave the students an opportunity to opine on matters that will affect them directly or indirectly. Such discussions will keep the tradition of learning and sharing ideas alive in the young and bright minds of the future of this country.