Post Budget Reactions From Insurance And Wealth Management Sector

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Union Budget 2023-24 Highlights
Expenditure:
The government proposes to spend Rs 39,44,909 crore in 2022-23, which is an increase of 4.6% over
the revised estimate of 2021-22. In 2021-22, total expenditure is estimated to be 8.2% higher than the budget estimate.

Receipts: The receipts (other than borrowings) in 2022-23 are expected to be Rs 22,83,713 crore, an increase of 4.8% over the revised estimate of 2021-22. In 2021-22, total receipts (other than borrowings) are estimated to be 10.2% higher than the budget estimates.

GDP: The government has estimated a nominal GDP growth rate of 11.1% in 2022-23 (i.e., real growth plus inflation).

Deficits: The revenue deficit in 2022-23 is targeted at 3.8% of GDP, which is lower than the revised estimate of 4.7% in 2021-22. The fiscal deficit in 2022-23 is targeted at 6.4% of GDP, lower than the revised estimate of 6.9% of GDP in 2021-22 (marginally higher than the budget estimate of 6.8% of GDP). Interest expenditure at Rs 9,40,651 crore is estimated to be 43% of revenue receipts.

Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR): After a number of years, the budget has not relied on EBR or loans from National Small Savings Fund.

Ministry allocations: Among the top 13 ministries with the highest allocations, in 2022-23, the highest percentage increase in allocation is observed in the Ministry of Communications (93%), followed by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (52%), and the Ministry of Jal Shakti (25%)

Mr. Praveen Vashishta, Chairman, Howden Insurance Brokers India Pvt. Ltd

“Kudos to the FM for delivering a growth-centric budget – the first budget of Amrit Kaal. The markets after giving an initial thumbs up have since petered down – typical of budget-day reactions. To me, this is overall a win-win budget. With an increased capital outlay, the budget promotes ease of doing business, infrastructure growth, Agri-tech, and a digital India. At the same time, the budget scores well on the social agenda – it promotes inclusive growth, women’s welfare, skilling, green energy, and green mobility. There is relief on the personal tax front including an increase in rebate limit to Rs. 7 lakhs in the new tax regime and a reduction in the highest surcharge from 37% to 25%, thus bringing down the maximum rate to 39%.

We would have liked to see a few strategic announcements in the Insurance Sector- such as an increase in FDI to 100%, a reduction in the Tax rate for Foreign Reinsurance Branches, and the introduction of Captives. We were also expecting some Tax concessions such as a reduction of the GST rate on health & life insurance from 18% to 5%, creating a separate section for Life insurance premium exemptions instead of including it in an already crowded 80C, and an increase in the maximum deduction for tax benefits from health insurance premiums from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh under 80 D. With a forward-looking government, I am sanguine that we will see more on these areas in the time to come.”

Shri. Devesh Srivastava, CMD, General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re)

“In today’s Parliament, our Hon Finance Minister has delivered a holistic and futuristic Budget ensuring the strengthening of our Economy. Saptrishi, the 7 priorities of Budget 2023 are in support of the government’s ‘Aatmanirbharta’ mission, focusing on Inclusive development, Youth Power, Infrastructure and investment, Financial Sector, and women’s empowerment.

The Hon Finance Minister has yet again taken commendable steps to strengthen our Agriculture sector. The new ‘Agriculture Accelerator Fund’ will not only motivate our young entrepreneurs in rural areas towards Agri start-ups but also, benefit the farmer by providing innovative and affordable solutions for the challenges faced by them.

Today’s proposal by the Hon Finance Minister to raise the capital expenditure target by 33% to Rs. 10 lakh crores, which is 3.3% of the country’s economic output, will shore up demand and consumption in the economy. This massive capital expenditure planned will give a boost to the reinsurance sector.”

Mr. Raghvendra Nath, MD, Ladderup Wealth Management Pvt. Ltd.

“Like the last couple of years, the finance minister has rightly changed the budget exercise into a Vision exercise, where it lays down the Vision of the government for the next few years and makes sure that all the facets of the economy are taken care of. Today the finance minister announced initiatives like green energy, inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure investment, unleashing potential, youth power, and the financial sector which are required. While most of us await tax reforms, there is only so much that can be done in increasing or decreasing taxes. Ultimately, how the govt spends the revenues and borrowings has a far greater impact on the Economy and the people.

From an Economic standpoint, keeping the fiscal deficit at 5.9% for FY 24 and more importantly, promising to bring down the fiscal deficit to 4.5% by FY25-26 is a big statement that has been welcomed by the market. Another positive is the unchanged government borrowing program at the previous year’s level. There was an apprehension that since this is the last budget before the general elections next year, the government may spend more. The good thing is that the government has shown fiscal prudence in bringing down the fiscal deficit and keeping the borrowing unchanged.”

Mr. Y. Viswanatha Gowd, MD & CEO of LIC Housing Finance on the Budget announcement.

“The Budget has a clear progressive intent via the 7 Priorities of Budget 2023 as India enters into ‘Amrit Kaal’. The priorities reinforce the support of the government’s ‘Aatmanirbharta’ mission, by focusing on Inclusive development, Youth Power, Infrastructure and investment, Financial Sector, and women empowerment.

The raise in CAPEX by 33% is promising news as it accelerates infrastructural development which will spur further growth in the Real Estate sector. Allocation of ₹79,000crs towards Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) serves well for the ‘Housing for All’ mission. The modification under the new tax regime puts more money in the hands of the common man which will certainly boost consumption. Overall, Budget exudes great optimism to set the stage for very good economic growth.”

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