To discuss the implications of Union Budget 2018, SCOPE in academic collaboration of pwc organized Seminar on. The Seminar was addressed by U.D. Choubey, Director General, SCOPE and N.R. Bhanumurthy of National Institute of Public Finance & Policy.
Dr. U.D. Choubey Director General, SCOPE applauded the Union Budget 2018-19 for its emphasis on boosting agriculture, infrastructure, education and providing universal healthcare and social protection. The public sector is going to play an even greater role as the budget has envisaged higher investment in infrastructure, strengthening of the railway network, airport development and maintenance and promoting digitalization among other things. Modernizing defence sector and preparing the groundwork for online highway in rural India would also lead to higher public investment, said Dr. Choubey.
DG, SCOPE also appreciated consistency in government policy regarding consolidation of government held companies. A consolidated single insurance entity has been announced in the budget on the lines of energy and banking sector announced in last year's budget. Choubey also said that it is heartening that government has realized higher than targeted disinvestment proceeds, expecting it to reach Rs one lakh crore in 2017-18. For 2018-19, the budget has targeted Rs 80,000 crore in disinvestment proceeds. This reflects Public Sector’s strong credibility in the market. However, SCOPE feels strongly about utilizing these proceeds for purposes other than investment within the sector for making it more dynamic.
SCOPE compliments government for enhanced minimum support price for agricultural produce and larger allocation in the agricultural sector, which in turn enhances the rural economy.
N.R. Bhanumurthy, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy while highlighting the macro aspects of the Union Budget 2018-19 said the Budget is more realistic and transparency is a major focus to promote the long-term inclusive development of the economy.
Also present during the session were D.S. Sudhakar Ramaiah, CMD, PDIL and Member of SCOPE Executive Board, Amit Bhagat, Partner, Indirect Taxes, pwc and Nitin Vaid, Partner, Corporate & International Tax, pwc. The program was attended by large number of CMDs/Directors and senior finance executives of public sector enterprises.