Refex CEO Mr. Anil Jain's answers our questionaire on his expectations from the Pranab Mukherjee's Budget 2010.
1. Do you have any expectations from Budget 2010 on environment protection?
Ans: As always, any Budget presentation is viewed with optimism by our industry. The citizens of our country have great expectations from the Government. The Government need to draft internal policies for reduction in carbon emission and provide lot of scope to protect the industries which are offering environmental friendly products. It is a fact that health is inextricably linked to environment and it is the bounden duty of the Government to protect the environment thereby protecting the health of its citizens.
2.With the presence of a very strong plastic lobby in India, will the government manage to issue a blanket ban on use of plastics?
Ans: It is sad to note that whenever any steps are taken to curb industrial practices leading to environmental hazards, powerful lobbying by the industries ensures that such laudable steps are put on hold. But I feel that the ban on usage of plastics cannot be affected by the manufacturing cartel as also the political will of the government to implement such policies. Government should always put stringent policies in place in the cause of the common and larger good since it is the citizen of the country who should enjoy the advantages of such policies than those few who oppose for their own good. I had already stated last year about stages like Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim implementing plastic ban in the states. This is indeed welcome and must be followed across India.
3.What are your views on India's stand at Copenhagen climate summit? Do you think India could have done better?
Ans: India did reasonably well though many people feel that we could have been more assertive. The tendency to accuse India of pandering to the diktats of the USA must be stopped.
4.Can Budget 2010 tackle fiscal deficit as well as inflation?
Ans: I do not think so. Fiscal deficit and Inflation is not something to be tackled with year-on-year budget presentation. It is something that is real, tangible and felt by the common man during the entire course of the year and in fact throughout his life. I strongly feel that this Government failed to bring in timely measures during the course of 2009 to control inflation and worse, in recent times, has resorted to blaming its ally for the current state of affairs. Expecting the common man seeking an answer to wait every year for the budget is to put it mildly very unreasonable.
5.With advance GDP numbers coming in at over 7%, do you think India's growth has been satisfactory? What steps do you want to see in Budget to enhance this growth?
Ans: India is continuing to grow at reasonable levels though the benefits of such growth has not percolated to all levels. Education and health continues to be prime areas of concern. It is my firm belief that it is education and education alone that would create awareness and getting good education is the birth right of every citizen of this country. I hope to see enough stimulus in the fields of primary education and health care in the ensuing budget.
6.What reforms are you expecting in the tax structure? Are you expecting corporate tax reduction this time around?
Ans: Given the current economic scenario, nothing much could be expected on the tax front. However, the number of litigations in both direct and indirect taxes are on the rise. Introduction of Samadhan scheme or another VDIS would ease this situation somewhat.
7. You were not very happy with the previous Budget. Do you think Pranab Mukherjee's Budget will have answers for the common man?
Ans: Happiness is a state of mind and the Finance Ministry cannot be expected to satisfy every citizen of this country. However, there is a yawning disconnect between the common man and the four pillars of democracy today. It would be better if the Government makes a sincere attempt to bridge this chasm.