Budget 2021: Experts debate on what people want

Chennai: Ahead of Union Budget 2021, Kautilya School of Public Policy, Hyderabad, affiliated to GITAM (deemed to be university) hosted a high-profile webinar on ‘Budget 2021: Managing the Pandemic, Public and Policies’ with public policy experts from across sectors.

A press release said, the session dovetailed into the challenges put forth by the pandemic on the Indian economy and how best to utilise the budget for the year to help the nation spring back from these troubled times.

The panel commenced with a statement marking the dire need of rethinking public policy in India, and focused on how policy making in the current top-down approach is not a sustainable model for India.

The session panelists included Shweta Rajpal Kohli, Head of Public Policy, Sequoia capital, India and Southeast Asia, Indermit Singh Gill, non-resident senior fellow, Brookings Institution, Yamini Iyer, the President and Chief Executive, Center for Policy Research, Nidhi Razdan, senior journalist and former executive editor, NDTV and Ram Mohan Naidu, Member of Parliament (TDP). The panel also consisted of the founding members of Kautilya School of Public Policy M Sri Bharat, President, GITAM, Prateek Kanwal, Co-Founder and Sridhar Pabbisetty, Founding Director.

The speakers furthered that growing unemployment levels, increasing inequality, and stagnant demand, coupled with crumbling health, education, and social services infrastructure require bold policy solutions grounded in a reliable evidence base.

The session elaborated upon the various aspects of health and education, that have not been given their due importance and are critical for a developing economy to contribute to its growth.

‘Make loan access easy’

Udaya Bhaskar Rao Abburu, CEO and managing director, iRAM Technologies, noted his pre-budget expectations for technology, infrastructure and MSME.

He said, the government has been paying a lot of attention towards MSME, as the sector has emerged as a highly vibrant and dynamic sector of the Indian economy over the last five decades.

Some of his key expectations included ease of unsecured loans processing up to Rs two crore by banks for MSMEs and start-ups.

“50 per cent of the previous financial year’s GST paid should be provided as credit in the account of the MSME’s and Start-Ups to perform more without looking for funds to be paid towards GST on sales and 50 per cent of the previous financial year’s customs duty paid should be provided as credit in their account for the MSME’s and Start-Ups to import raw materials. This credit should be interest free for a minimum period of 12 months, till the companies come out of pandemic related down turns,” he said.