K.K. Mohanty, Managing Director of Gammon Infrastructure Projects, says borrowing norms should be eased for infrastructure companies.
Given the current challenges, what, in your opinion, would make for a good budget ? What measures or proposals would you like to see?
There should be a thrust on infrastructure as it is the backbone of the economy. There should be support for infrastructure companies either from local or overseas financial institutions (in terms of relaxed borrowing norms) because the government obviously does not have the money to spend on infrastructure.
Given the constraints the government faces in raising revenue, do you see a case to increase income tax rates on the rich?
Taxing the rich more is not going to make up for the dip in government revenues. The government should focus on growth, and naturally, both direct and indirect taxes will go up.
If the budget does not meet expectations, do you fear that business sentiment would once again dip?
Frankly speaking, business sentiment has not improved in the last couple of months despite the government's steps. It has become non-responsive to industry's concerns.
Specific to your sector, what could the current budget do to improve conditions?
For infrastructure projects, what is the point in having a ten-year tax exemption when they have to pay MAT (minimum alternate tax)?
Which budget, in the recent past, do you remember as having been a good one?
I don't remember a great one in the last three to four years.
Do you expect a business-friendly budget?
No. I expect it to be more about social benefits given that elections are next year.