ICAI Dubai hails India budget

Officials termed it future oriented and supporting growth of the country

Caption: (From left to right) Dinesh Kothari, Hitesh Gajaria, Rajesh Kothari, Paras Shahdadpuri and Anurag Chaturvedi. - Supplied photo
Caption: (From left to right) Dinesh Kothari, Hitesh Gajaria, Rajesh Kothari, Paras Shahdadpuri and Anurag Chaturvedi. - Supplied photo

Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Fri 3 Feb 2023, 7:35 PM

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) Dubai chapter has hailed the Union budget for 2023-24 and termed it future oriented and supporting growth of the country.

In its opening remarks at the post-budget seminar, the institute’s representatives praised the budget for easing taxes on the middle class and taking steps to reduce unemployment, poverty and income disparity while keeping prices in check.

“India is on the total path of growth,” said Dinesh Kothari, vice-chairman and managing director of Delhi Private Schools group. “If you have not invested in Indian markets, now is the time to do so because the dream run is about to start,” he said.

India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget on Wednesday -- the last full-fledged finance document before the general elections next year. With major changes in tax slabs and tax regimes, it is expected to the be a budget that will positively impact the middle- and lower-income segments.

The ICAI Dubai chapter event discussed the budget and its salient features. The ICAI members went over the finer details of the budget and broke it down to explain how the changes would impact the various groups of Indians. It was termed as a budget that focused on three Cs -- Capex, consumption and capital. Capex, an acronym of capital expenditure, is the money spent to buy, maintain, or improve fixed assets.

Key takeaways

“This budget has been wonderful,” said Paras Shahdadpuri, chairman of Nikai Group.

“It is a bottom-up approach, which means they have taken care of the weaker section of our country. They have also taken care of the schedule cast, schedule tribes and tribal areas of North and Northeast India. I would say it has been a very encouraging budget especially considering how much they have spent on Capex, which is going to generate a lot of employment, manufacturing activities, roads and ports.”

The 2023-24 budget is expected to drive the $3.4 trillion economy to its medium-term goal of hitting $5 trillion by 2025-26.

For Anurag Chaturvedi, chairman of ICAI Dubai, the key takeaway has been the focus on senior citizens. “The kind of incentives that senior citizens are getting is extremely critical,” he said. “They will be getting their leave encashment which is a big relief after the Covid pandemic. People have been working from home and not taking their days off. When this is converted into leave encashment and added to their retirement fund, it is a huge saving for them.”

According to Chaturvedi, the reduction of tax slabs for an individual income of up to seven lakhs will give people surplus money to invest. “This will further prop the Indian economy,” he said. “The government is investing towards a growing India and these investments and capital market will help the country prosper.”

ICAI members at the event. - Supplied photo
ICAI members at the event. - Supplied photo

No relief for NRIs

For non-resident Indians (NRIs), the budget has been slightly disappointing as some of their long-standing demands were not addressed. However, according to the experts, there were some factors that worked in favour of the NRIs.

“This budget has made is very easy for those wanting to set up businesses in India to do so,” said Paras. “So if the NRIs wish to go back, they will feel more comfortable doing so, ensuring that the FDI coming through these NRIs are safe, secure and productive.”

In addition to this, the budget saw the reintroduction of offshore derivative instruments (ODIs), commonly known as Participatory Notes (P-Notes). Nearly four years after they were partially banned by market regulator SEBI, PNotes will make a comeback in Indian stock market as Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government will recognise ODIs as valid. “The lost glory of P-Notes have been brought back,” said Charanjot Singh Nanda, a member of ICAI.

“And on the P-notes issued, there will be no short term or long term capital gains. This means money will pour in.”

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