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Packaging industry responds to Union Budget

28 Feb. 2020

Tags: Indian Union Budget 2020

On 1 February, the Finance Minister Sitharaman announced cuts in personal income tax, extended tax benefits for affordable housing and gave relief to companies on payment of dividend in the Union Budget as the government looked to boost consumption to bring the economy out of the worst slowdown in 11 years. Three industry leaders responded to the Union Budget. WhatPackaging? magazine reports.

Neeraj Jain, CFO, Cosmo Films said, "Overall, the Union Budget 2020 looks a balanced budget with a focus on transforming the economy and people's welfare. The proposed focus on education, infrastructure, data processing, healthcare and cleanliness though is appreciated. Various steps taken to reduce regulatory compliance and creating an environment for ease of doing business will strengthen the MSME sector and will give a boost to overall economic growth."

Vimal Kedia of Manjushree Technopack concurred, "The Union Budget 2020 has opened numerous opportunities for companies looking to set up manufacturing facilities in the country. The ambition to make India a hub for electronics manufacturing will not only fuel manufacturing in India but also see more job creations. It will certainly give a fillip to the Make in India initiative as well. I also welcome the formation of e-Marketplace (GeM) which will help in creating a Unified Procurement System in the country for providing a single platform for procurement of goods, services and works for SMEs."

Atit Gandhi, director, Montage Group said much more was anticipated from the government about GST reforms. He added, "The announcement in the Budget 2020 about simplified GST returns from April is welcome. However, more is anticipated from the government on GST reforms. He said, GST refunds have to be on time, need relation in GST compliance procedure; there is a burden on the GST payer to pay on time without receiving the same from the creditor. Let’s hope the GST Committee brings in new clarity on reforms.

Vimal Kedia added, "What was disappointing was the new tax regime. I don’t see it giving any relief as you can’t claim many of the deductions and exemptions available now. The new tax regime can potentially penalise you in the name of simplifications.

Speaking of taxes, Neeraj Jain said, "The increase in effective tax on high income group and dividend income is contrary to the country's overall movement towards low tax structure."

Gandhi stated, "The Budget has slashed the IT rates, which should help in driving consumption. The slashing of corporate rates to 22% is a good move and should drive more corporate investment." He added, " Measures to enable NBFCs to extend invoice financing to MSMEs and RBI’s loan restructuring, will give a major boost to MSMEs. Similarly, the economic and financial sustainability of MSMEs will go up by making amendments to allow NBFCs to be part of TReDS (Trade Receivables Discounting system), that would result in enhanced funding for MSMEs."

Gandhi pointed out that the "Government’s plans to improve road and train infrastructure for agriculture perishable goods and boost cold storage and warehouse infrastructure will help towards arresting wastage of tonnes of agriculture produce, and get farmers higher prices."

Kedia was happy with "The push for solar energy and investment in clean air, in particular, is greatly appreciated." He said, "Air pollution has increased visibly and it needs to be tackled immediately. I hope to see cascading benefits from it in cities like Bengaluru and Delhi NCR."

Gandhi concluded, "Collective aspects in the budget such as commitment to double agricultural income by 2022, farmer insurance, infrastructure development in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, tax holidays on affordable housing, deadline for Delhi-Mumbai Express Way and 100 new airports, 100% tax concession for infra investing by sovereign wealth funds, healthcare infra investment, single window clearance for investors, divestment commitments in LIC & IDBI Bank, reduction in personal IT slabs and DDT reduction, all are welcome. These objectives are expected to increase consumption and assure a renewed investment push for infrastructure development."

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