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About 91 per cent of respondents from India Inc, to a survey by Deloitte, said that the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ set of measures announced by Finance Minister Sitharaman have helped put the back on the path of recovery. This is a jump from the 58 per cent favourable respondents for the announcements before the last budget, the consultancy agency said in a statement.

However, only 18 per cent of all the respondents in Deloitte’s pre-budget survey are micro, small and medium enterprises, a spokesperson for Deloitte said. Most of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ measures announced by Sitharaman, starting May 2020, are aimed at smaller businesses, including the credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs, and loan schemes for tourism and other sectors which have been the worst hit by the pandemic.

“Optimism and confidence are ruling high amongst Indian businesses as more than 75 per cent respondents (compared with 68 per cent last year) were positive about India’s economic growth and expansion, despite the surge seen in the third wave of COVID-19,” Deloitte said.

“About 91 per cent respondents (compared with 58 per cent last year) believe that the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative, coupled with monetary policy actions by RBI did contribute to bringing the back on track. They expect the Union Budget FY’23 to build on to this momentum,” it said.

Deloitte said that as per the survey, respondents believed more investment in infrastructure is required. About 55 per cent business leaders said providing extra tax incentives to long-term investors for infrastructure investment can help promote growth in the country. Adding to this, 45 per cent respondents said that the budget should focus on announcing incentives for increased R&D spending.

“About 56 per cent respondents also believe that the PLI scheme was a game-changer especially for the telecommunication and technology industry, followed by the electronics, and life sciences and healthcare industries. More than 60 per cent business leaders feel that the PLI scheme will attract investors and increase manufacturing and exports, which will boost the growth of different sectors and the economy,” it said.

Enhancing export competitiveness, putting in place competitive import tariffs, and reducing administrative inefficiencies were some other expectations that conveyed through the Deloitte survey. Nearly 35 per cent leaders want the budget to address the issue of extending higher credit support to MSMEs, and an accelerated divestment and asset monetisation programme.

“The has witnessed a steady recovery during FY’22. The Indian economy will continue to witness the growth momentum if the government is able to sustain the efforts on implementation of reforms such as asset monetization for the infrastructure growth, and PLI schemes,” said Sanjay Kumar, partner at Deloitte India.

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