Some of the industry leaders gave their reactions to the Budget 2019 presented by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal today.
“We congratulate the government for presenting a forward-looking and progressive interim budget. This budget while announcing financial sops for MSME’s, farm and health sectors that form the backbone of the economy and tax relief for the middle class, also sufficiently prioritized infrastructure for railways and airports by allocating hefty investment to add fillip to ongoing progress. For airlines, the business has grown exponentially in the last year as UDAN Yojana has made travel possible for anybody and everybody. This has put an unexpected burden on airports severely crowding them. There is an urgent need to upscale existing airports and introduce the stipulated 100-mark operational airports soon, to cater to an ever-increasing demand. We now await the implementation of the promises made.”
Dr. Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group & Member of CII’s Core Committee on Aviation
“While the Interim Union Budget 2019 has seen no direct mention of the travel and tourism sector, focus on tax breaks for the Middle Cl ass (including doubling of income-tax exemption to Rs 5 Lakhs, raising of the threshold on bank fixed deposit interest to Rs 40, 000, etc.), will result in increased disposable in come and a cascading boost to consumption- offering the sector an opportunity for increased travel & tourism spends. Impetus to associated industries including the Indian Railways with a budget outlay of Rs 1,48,650 cr., a specific focus on untapped sister states Meghalaya and Tripura, along with 19,000 cr. allocation to roadways under PMGSY (Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna) will see enhanced access and connectivity bringing newer tourism destinations on the radar, especially in Tier II and III regions.”
Mahesh Iyer, ED and CEO, Thomas Cook (India)
“The union budget has a positive ring to it and lays down the roadmap for robust growth. 100th airport opening in India, number of flyers which has doubled in the last 5 years and 27 km of roadways being built everyday (the fastest in the world) have all meant that more and more people are traveling than ever before and thus the demand for quality accommodation which is on the rise.”
J B Singh, President and CEO, InterGlobe Hotels
The move by the government to increase the tax exemptions will lead to additional savings thereby leading to more discretionary spends and travel and tourism can be one of the beneficiaries The overall emphasis on improving rural connectivity with an outlay of Rs 190 billion will lead to easier access to key tourism destinations which are located in rural and semi-rural areas. Furthermore, the government’s continued emphasis on the North East by allocating additional resources to the region will dramatically improve the connectivity and give a boost to tourism.
Peter Kerkar, Group CEO, Cox & Kings
“Increased in personal tax limit will see higher disposable income and with the ever-expanding food sector and delivery module in place, we see higher share of wallet coming to F&B sector. Happy to see relief for farmers and labourers, all in all a positive step to strengthen the purchasing power, which was much needed. Complete digitalisation of tax assessment is a welcome step. Interim Union Budget 2019 promises to be pro-growth and ushers a new era of transparency.”
Puneet Gulati, CEO, Barista