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I am expecting a growth-oriented Budget: Ashish Bhasin

With the Union Budget 2020-21 slated to be presented on February, the advertising and media industry has been vocal about its expectations from the Finance Minister. Ashish Bhasin, CEO, APAC and Chairman, India - Dentsu Aegis Network, is upbeat about the Budget and is looking forward to the Government taking steps to drive consumption and free up capital. Here’s what Bhasin says about his Budget Expectations: 

“I have great expectations from this Budget and that it will spur growth. Now, if the budget spurs growth, Advertising will automatically benefit. Afterall, advertising is only a lag and a lead indicator of economic growth. 

As a rule of thumb, advertising tends to grow at 1.5 times the GDP Growth. For instance, if GDP is growing at 6 per cent, then advertising should grow at around 9 per cent. Hence, if more money is put into the pockets of the common man, if consumption is given a boost – it would inevitably profit the advertising industry. 

Simplification of taxes, rationalisation of taxes and cesses – particularly in the case of personal taxes, is going to be a very welcome step and most people are expecting that. 

The advertising industry does not mind paying its fair share of taxes. Nevertheless, the complexity, the time and the harassment involved in the process, as well as awaiting refunds for years, is something that is really crippling this industry. I expect that the Finance Minister would be looking at addressing these issues. 

For the long term, sustained growth, employment opportunities must be created. Digital is going to play a big role in this going forward. I hope to see measures that benefit the more rapid digitisation of industry. 

Investments in infrastructure are required for the next decade or so in India. We have seen this Government taking steps in that direction and I hope to see many more announced. 

In short, I am expecting a growth-oriented Budget because we have the potential to grow between 8-9 per cent, but are languishing around 5-6 per cent. If the obstacles and shackles of bureaucratic mindset are removed and steps are taken to drive consumption and free up capital, I am pretty sure that very soon India will be heading towards a much higher GDP growth.”

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