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Infrastructure firms seek higher allocations, ease in borrowings this Budget

Infrastructure firms seek higher allocations, ease in borrowings this Budget

Infrastructure companies have sought higher budgetary allocations to roads, rail, energy, metals and mining and, social infrastructure sectors in Budget 2019 besides enhanced fund raising schemes and market borrowings by state-run firms to revive the investment cycle.

Feedback Infrastructure Chairman Vinayak Chatterjee said proportion of budgetary support as a percentage of total plan outlay is reducing year by year. “Therefore, one expects that the budget will lay significant emphasis on various methods of raising off budget funds such as asset monetisation, infrastructure bonds, bilateral multilateral funding and PPP.”

Allocation of funds in the core Infrastructure sectors is expected get accelerated this year. “In quantum of funds, we expect roads and railways to garner a significant share,” said CRISIL Infrastructure Advisory director and practice leader (transport and logistics) Jagannarayan Padmanabhan.

Dedicated allocations for specified large infrastructure projects announced such as bullet trains, Bharat Mala, Sagar Mala, Smart Cities, inland waterways development, can also be made to expedite these projects,

ICRA Ltd vice president and sector head- corporate ratings- Shubham Jain said, “To revive private sector interest in taking up new projects, independent regulator for specific infrastructure sub-sectors can be created. Incentives like extension of tax holiday for infrastructure projects and clarification on pending taxation issues with respect to InvITs can be provided,” he added.

Sembcorp CEO and India head Vipul Tuli said the power sector should be made a part of the GST framework in 2018. “Bringing electricity under GST will allow public and private power generators to avail credit for taxes paid on coal, spares and services and make them more competitive” he said.

Suzlon founder Tulsi Tanti said the government should reinstate accelerated depreciation and generation based incentives for wind and solar power projects below 25-mw capacity. He also sought increasing export incentive to achieve manufacturing targets and imposing performance based incentives on state distribution companies for purchasing renewable energy.

The metals and mining industry has sought policy interventions in budget 2018 to accelerate exploration, which is essential to meet the growing domestic demand. EY partner and national leader – metals and mining Anjani Agrawal said a significant allocation to infrastructure spend is expected to boost demand for metals and minerals. The aluminium industry will expect import duty on scrap to be equated with the duty on aluminium metal, he said.

Mesco Steel chairman Rita Singh sought reduction of import duty on coking coal from 2.5%, exemption of Indian steel companies from environmental cess, removal of import duty on stainless steel scrap and reduction in export duty on iron ore upto 62% ferrous content.

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