1. By Mr Gaurav Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Savaari Car Rentals, “Despite the delta variant hitting the world early in 2021, travel and tourism industry witnessed a strong resumption during the second half. However, the support from the government to boost growth was minimal, with the slashing of the ministry of tourism budget by 19% in 2021-22 compared to the 2020-21 numbers. Today, with the global scare of omicron, the situation for the sector is scarily close to a repeat of 2021. While international travel remains largely restricted this year, it serves as the fitting opportunity for the domestic hospitality sector to revive and recover the heavy losses incurred since the pandemic. The government’s role is crucial to inject life into the beleaguered sector. The industry is looking forward to expanded budgetary allocations for industry investments, tax relief and enhanced infrastructure in 2022. We expect a budgetary allocation of Rs. 3000 crores for tourism promotion and publicity, and the development of the domestic tourism infrastructure”.
2. By Lexship Founder and CEO, Padmanabhan Babu, “To give momentum to India’s focus on exports and create an Atmanirbhar Bharat, it is important to understand our exports in granularity. Out of the $526 bn of exports, Retail export is estimated to be between 76Bn to 100 Bn$, a segment that is growing around 25-30% CAGR. This segment primarily comprises Direct to Customers (D2C brands) and retail sales fulfilled by Small entrepreneurs (over a few 100 thousand) comprising of artisans, small traders and BFH (Business from Home) driving this. The paradigm shift in international trade globally is now driven by MSME’s, worldwide economies are trying to regularize and ease these trade flows by making them compliant, competitive, and easy to use. The government of India over the last couple of years has been focusing on this and has taken many steps that bring ease of doing business, they are Digitisation of Customs, Faceless evaluation, Simplified KYC etc.
Existing export trade representative bodies, rules and regulations have been conceived and set up for the traditional Production / B2B oriented business. The current budget might be a good opportunity to
- Create – A trade body focused on small and retail exporters comprising of Market places, Payments and Logistics service providers, which can help the government in policy formulation to ease retail exports, is able to address the skill gap in technology, product promotion and compliance.
- Adopt/regulate – Use technology to automate processes related to exports, to name a few
a. eBRC(Bank realization Certificate) process can be automated for retail exports, to minimize exporters physical intervention
b. Returns: “Returned products” contribute to a considerable volume in eCommerce, formulating rules that factor returns in retail eCommerce business are key. Managing returns is important to reduce the cost of doing business and keep this segment competitive”.
3. Arjun Ananth, CEO Medall Diagnostics: “The union budget of 2022-23 is more significant than ever before in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic’s third wave. While the private sector has been on overdrive for offering diagnostic and preventive healthcare services, the expectation is that the Government allocates more funds for the preventive health and wellness segment. We are looking forward to the government increasing its share of public expenditure on healthcare to effectively combat the pandemic and its variants. The need of the hour is prevention. Early screening and prevention of ailments that can cause COVID-19 are of prime importance. Moreover, providing health insurance at subsidised premiums will go a long way in the large embracing of policies to shield them in the event of any sudden misfortune. The government should make it mandatory for the functioning of primary health care centres in rural, Tier 2, and Tier 3 cities with sufficient allocation of funds to enable them to function smoothly.
More importantly, sprucing such centres with the latest diagnostic equipment is important. Encouraging public-private partnership in the healthcare segment with subsidies and sops will put access to healthcare especially in rural, Tier 2, and Tier 3 cities within reach of the common man. The government can consider reintroducing tax holidays for investments in infrastructure in rural areas. Also, the government needs to significantly increase investments in funding research on infectious diseases and strengthen the capabilities of institutions to be well prepared in handling situations that we are currently experiencing. Presently health services are exempt from GST due to which the industry is unable to avail input credit on purchases and credit. Last but not least import duties and processes on diagnostic equipment should be eased to enable smooth imports and make diagnostic services more affordable for the common man”.