Business Today

"There is a lot of hope in what the current finance minister will deliver"

Patu Keswani, Chairman, Lemon Tree Hotels says he would look for two measures in the budget: how the govt proposes to reduce its fiscal deficit in a credible fashion. And confidence building steps to encourage long-term foreign capital inflowsfor domestic companies to step up investments.

Shamni Pande        Last Updated: February 27, 2013  | 09:53 IST

Given the current challenges, what, in your opinion, would make a good budget? What measures or proposals would you like to see?
From the overall perspective, I would look for two measures: how the government proposes to reduce its fiscal deficit in a credible fashion. And confidence building steps to encourage long-term foreign capital inflows/encouragement for domestic companies to step up investments.

Given the constraints the government faces in raising revenue, do you see a case to increase income tax rates on the rich?
I would look at ways to widen the tax base.

Full coverage: Union Budget 2013


What is the cut-off in income beyond which you would classify the person as rich.

The cut-off to tax the rich: Rs 30 lakh per annum for the well off and Rs 60 lakh per annum for the rich.

If the budget does not meet expectations, do you fear that business sentiment would once again dip?
Nearly certainly. There is a lot of hope in what the current finance minister will deliver in the last year before an election year.

Specific to your sector, what could the current budget do to improve conditions?
Indirectly, through how the government plans to allocate more funds to improve infrastructure and conversely reduce subsidies. Directly, if hotels can be classified as infrastructure for the purpose of accessing lower cost, longer term, debt financing.

Which budget, in the recent past, do you remember as having been a good one?
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