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‘Maharashtra is the second biggest gainer from Union budget after Uttar Pradesh’


While the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has alleged that Union budget 2022 hardly has anything for Maharashtra, Viidyes K Totare, MD & CEO of Archers Wealth Management Pvt Ltd, an equity advisory firm based out of Pune, says the state is the second biggest gainer after Uttar Pradesh, as it has got over Rs 51,000 crore for implementing various central schemes.

Excerpts from an interview to Manoj More:

The MVA government is alleging the finance minister has done injustice to Maharashtra. Do you agree?

No, I don’t think it is right to say that the budget has given Maharashtra a raw deal. In fact, Maharashtra is the second biggest gainer in terms of funds. Overall, states will get Rs 8.16 lakh crore in the new financial year from the budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. This amount will be around Rs 72,000 crore more than the last financial year. Maharashtra will get Rs 51,587.75 crore for implementing various central schemes. In the last budget, Maharashtra received Rs 45,000 crore, which means the state’s quota has gone up. As per the Finance Commission’s recommendations, states get their share from central taxes in proportion to their population. These taxes include corporation tax, income tax, wealth tax, central GST, excise duty, excise duty, and service tax.

In budget 2022, there is a Rs 6,000 crore programme over five years for micro, small, and medium enterprises and startups, which will also be a gain for Maharashtra, where startups are shining. There is also an increase in tax incentives from three to four years of inception, a 25 per cent defence research and development budget designated for startups and academia, which is being lauded and praised by Pune startups.

What else has the budget given Maharashtra?

The announcement of a digital university is a significant milestone, which would allow world-class foreign universities to assist India with the much-needed internationalisation of Indian higher education. Pune is an education hub. If the situation favours, the first digital university might be set up in Pune, as the city is also the information technology hub of India and also because of the technological advancement in the city.

Besides, the finance minister’s announcement about promotion of “kisan drones” for crop assessment, spraying of insecticides and digitisation of land records will help the farming community a great deal.

The finance minister also announced that the draft detailed project report about linking five rivers had been finalised. It will help Maharashtra as two of the projects are in the state. They are between Maharashtra and the neighbouring Gujarat. Of the two projects, the Damanganga project is expected to take care of the drinking water needs of the state.

Has the budget met your expectations?

This budget is forward-looking and sets the tone for the next two to three years. Although the government had already hit all the sixes in the last budget with the right reforms, this time “digital budget 2022”, as we call it, is focused on creating a digital economy as well as capital growth in the economy. It reflects the prime minister’s intentions to spend government funds to create a stronger economy, with the highest capital expenditure budget of 7.5 lakh crore.

Which are the sectors that could do well this year?

Overall, if the economy does well every sector does well. Some of the sectors that could do well are electric vehicles, defence, quick service restaurants, information technology, capital goods, consumer goods.

What are the announcements in the budget that surprised as well as hurt you?

The government’s move to acknowledge and regulate cryptocurrency was quite alarming for us. Gains on virtual digital assets would be taxed at 30 per cent. Meanwhile, no deductions and set-offs would be allowed. The crypto tax is 30 per cent, which means the government is regulating cryptocurrencies from now on.

What are the key sectors that you think would benefit most from this budget?

Some of the sectors that stand to benefit are fintech, electric vehicles, agritech alongside the defence sector, due to increased expenditure.

How would be your investment strategy post-budget?

As I mentioned earlier, we are more focused on the growing sectors like banking, pharma, electric vehicles, capital goods and defence. Personally, I would be inclined to invest only in India because it is the fastest growing economy in the world, with the highest GDP growth rate of 9.2 per cent despite the pandemic.

What is your advice to retail investors?

They should invest through portfolio management services, alternative investment funds, systematic investment plans and mutual funds to benefit from the changing economic landscape of the country. I would highly recommend that investors stay invested in the market for a long term to reap the maximum benefit.

What is your view on India’s goods exports?

For India, the pandemic is a blessing in disguise. We are going to be the largest exporter of automobiles, pharmaceuticals, and information technology services in the world.


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