Union Budget 2020 at ‘CNBC-TV18 The Budget Townhall 2020’

A market leader in the English business news genre, CNBC-TV18 once again led from the front via a unique platform, CNBC-TV18 The Budget Townhall 2020. Presenting expert analysis and an open dialogue on the announcements made, the fourth edition of the event witnessed economic and financial stakeholders come together in New Delhi to offer their expert perspective and decode the biggest economic policy event in the country.

CNBC-TV18 The Budget Townhall 2020 witnessed panel discussions where policy architects and financial stakeholders such as Amitabh Kant —CEO, NITI Aayog, Ajay Bhushan Pandey —Revenue Secretary, Dr. John Joseph —Member Tax Policy, CBIC,  Pramod Chandra Mody —CBDT Chairman, TV Somanathan —Expenditure Secretary, Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian —Chief Economic Adviser, Guruprasad Mohapatra —DPIIT, Chairman, Tuhin Kanta Pandey —DIPAM Secretary, Rajiv Kumar —Finance Secretary and others discussed and debated and shared their perspectives on the key policy decisions made with respect to Union Budget 2020. The closing address at the townhall was given by V Vaidyanathan —Managing Director and CEO - IDFC FIRST Bank.

CNBC-TV18’s Managing Editor Shereen Bhan moderated the panel. Key insights shared by the speakers:

Amitabh Kant - CEO, NITI Aayog

  • This Budget is essentially about wealth-creation; across the board, there is a focus on the private sector
  • NITI Aayog believes all roads built by NHAI should be put out in the market
  • 6 more airports will be put out for bidding
  • Trying to add more trains to the list of trains to be privatised
  • National Logistics Policy should be out in next 2-3 months
  • NITI Aayog will push very hard on public sector disinvestment; India is a great destination for brownfield asset monetization projects

Rajiv Kumar —Finance Secretary

  • Recoveries for banks are at an all-time high; regulations also need to be strengthened for co-operative banks
  • Every bank today is in a position to lend, see sufficient liquidity
  • There should be a distinction between genuine commercial failures & willful default
  • 99% there is no systemic risk to India’s financial system
  • Won’t allow any shocks to come in the financial system

Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian —Chief Economic Adviser

  • Both bond & equity market have been fostered through budget; Budget has enabled capital from insurance cos & sovereign funds to come into India
  • FPI limits for the investments in bond market have been enhanced
  • DDT was one of the contention for foreign investors

Pramod Chandra Mody —CBDT Chairman

  • Removal of DDT was made in pre-budget consultations; stability is what is needed on expectations on DDT
  • We must move to a system where there is no exemption or deduction
  • Policy is that exemptions have to be phased out in a gradual manner
  • Cannot have lower tax rates as well as deductions

Ajay Bhushan Pandey —Revenue Secretary

  • Can’t say what the government will decide on LTCG; there should be stability in expectations on the same
  • Start-up ecosystem is not new to India; can make a comparison with other countries; ESOP provisions for start-ups are best in the world
  • When GST was brought in, 60 lakh companies came into the system
  • There has to be some distinction; can’t give tax exemptions to every new company
  • Welcome all eligible Start-ups to get certification

Dr. John Joseph Member Tax Policy, CBIC

  • Some people who are gaming the system are the problem; over 10,000 such entities have been found by us who are gaming the system
  • Have revised are tax collection targets downwards
  • January collections were over Rs 1.1 Lakh Cr showing things are improving
  • We are making it easier & simplified for the taxpayer to comply with the system

Guruprasad Mohapatra —DPIIT, Chairman

  • Need very effective central body on investment facilitation; the main target to bring more investments in India & operationalise them
  • Several global companies want to relocate from China to India
  • Considering bonded manufacturing area where duty free imports allowed for exports
  • There is no central coordinating agency involving all stakeholders

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