13Feb

Union Budget 2015 India Expectation: FM may announce Rs 45,000 crore disinvestment target for FY16

Finance minister Arun Jaitley is likely to announce an ambitious Rs 45,000 crore disinvestment programme for the year starting April 1 when he presents the Budget in parliament on February 28. That would allow him to keep the fiscal deficit on a tight leash while finding the money needed for a public spending push. Asset sales of that magnitude would put it on par with what government wants to raise in this fiscal year.

The Narendra Modi administration is likely to seek an early start to the disinvestment programme by lining up about 10 share-sale initiatives, including IPOs. The overall target could be higher after including residual stake sales.

Companies likely to be in the list include rail companies such as Container Corporation of India (Concor) and Ircon International.

“The target for the year could be in the range of Rs 40,000- 45,000 crore,” said a senior government official aware o ..

The government feels that it can get the sale process under way quickly with one offer a month as a large number of companies have already been cleared for stake sales or are in the process of being approved.

“We are in talks with various administrative ministries and in the process of identifying companies,” said the finance ministry official, requesting anonymity. “Cabinet approvals for some firms have already been taken. Unlike the last few years, the next fiscal disinvestment proces ..

Experts said it will be difficult for the government to meet the disinvestment target unless it puts stock in the big state-owned companies on sale.

13Feb

Union Budget 2015 India Predictions: Budget to boost infrastructure, financials

The government is embarking on a path of aggressive infrastructure build out by boosting government spending, announcement of landmark expenditure reforms aimed at substantial declines in delivery cost of subsidies and re-direct corresponding savings towards infrastructure creation and re-orient focus from fiscal deficit towards revenue deficit, in an effort to create room for more productive capital expenditure.

13Feb

Union Budget 2015 India Expectation: More tax benefits on health insurance required

As this budget would be the first full-fledged budget by the Finance Minister, expectations across industries are quite high. Last year’s budget was progressive and forward looking and clearly exhibits the new government’s understanding of the impending needs to fuel economic growth through righteous allocation of funds and impetus to foreign investment. Key thrust on improving the rural economy with focus on development programmes, FDI hike, enhancement of quality healthcare rounded up as an ideal budget.

This year, a growth-oriented budget, with a focus on health assurance and an overall increase in financial inclusion and consumer awareness are the wish list from this years’ union budget.

Health Insurance being a relatively new idea is evolving and must innovatively and creatively face the challenges of lack of access and affordability, health/medical inflation, unavailability of skilled manpower among other barriers and roadblocks.It is therefore, every Indian’s need to have access to an all-inclusive and quality healthcare system. Innovations across all touch points will be harbinger of growth and will help us accomplish our mission of getting to universal health insurance coverage in India.

The growing awareness coupled with the rising affluence is resulting in an increased demand for health insurance in the country. For consumers, exemption of service tax from Health Insurance premium and increasing the tax exemption slab for premium paid will be a stimulus to the industry’s growth. Forthcoming budget should take small steps such as removing service tax on health insurance premium, increasing deduction limit under section 80D to increase penetration of insurance.Health insurance is still looked upon only as a secondary option to other investments by most consumers because of lack of awareness, lower tax exemption or as a stress purchase. Therefore tax benefits on healthcare insurance would help nurture a culture of preventive healthcare in India. However, affordability and awareness still plagues our growth.

India’s current healthcare system is one of the most privatized globally, with the private sector providing eighty percent of outpatient care, resulting in catastrophic out of pocket expenses for people with a low income.People need to understand that with inflation in healthcare costs and increase in the incidence of lifestyle diseases, health insurance will be beneficial in covering the treatment cost. All this will ultimately free the current out-of-pocket spending and channel funds toward far more productive uses, while strengthening the public health-care system.

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