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Govt must focus on improving rural consumption and infra development projects

The Centre should focus on improving the rural consumption, kickstart construction activity and push for more infrastructure creation for unleashing the animal spirits in the economy. The government should also monetise some of the real assets and invest in infrastructure projects that would have multiplier effect.

Pratik Agarwal, Group CEO, Sterlite Power, said asset recycling through InvITs (infrastructure investment trusts) or REITS (real estate investment trusts) can be a major source of funding infrastructure projects in the country.

In fact, some of the State governments are owning such wonderful power distribution assets and they can raise up to ₹1.5 lakh crore in a matter of few quarters, he said addressing BusinessLine pre-Budget event organised here on Friday.

Reform in power sector

Just like GST, the Budget should look at major reform in power distribution sector to minimise the loss for producers, he said. While foreign pension and insurance money are being invested in Indian infrastructure projects, the country’s pension funds are shying away from taking exposure in domestic infrastructure projects, Agarwal said at a panel discussion moderated by N Madhavan, Senior Associate Editor, BusinessLine.

Vivek Bhatia, Managing Director and CEO, thyssenkrupp Industries India, said the government should focus on boosting exports so that the problem of low capacity utilisation gets resolved even while the domestic demand picks up.

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Vivek Bhatia, Managing Director and CEO, thyssenkrupp Industries India, said the government should focus on boosting exports so that the problem of low capacity utilisation gets resolved even while the domestic demand picks up. Though the focus on ‘Make in India’ had pushed exports in few sectors such as auto components, the larger concern is on capital goods and it is still lagging due to various reasons, he said.

Once exports catch pace, private investments will start and in turn kick-start domestic consumption, he added.

Tax rate on corporates

Sudhir Kapadia, Partner & National Tax Leader, Ernst & Young LLP, said the tax rate on corporates is still very high if one combines the corporate tax and dividend distribution tax.

Source
The Hindu Businessline
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