Union Budget 2020 expectation: Key focus on providing impetus to manufacturing sector, Roland Bouchara, Citroen India
The upcoming Union Budget 2020 is being seen as one of the most important events for the Indian automobile fraternity who has huge expectations from it. It will be presented by Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, 2020, making it the second budget for the Narendra Modi-led government. What makes it an important one is the fact that the Indian economy that has already been facing a low phase with the low 2019-20 GDP growth of five per cent which is the lowest in 11 years. Considering the huge contribution of the automobile sector in the Indian economy, corrective measures to improve the state of affairs are being expected in FY 2021. The industry slowdown continues to dampen the sales and demand in the country. Several players in the industry have started voicing out their expectations from the Union Budget 2020, which includes updates in the GST tax rates, reducing custom duties in certain parts and also incentives in exports, all of which would bring some respite to the industry. Here is what Roland Bouchara, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Citroen India, has to say.
Roland Bouchara, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Citroën India
"The long-term outlook for the Indian automotive industry is very strong as both, demographically and economically, the industry is well-positioned for growth in the coming years. Hence, we are expecting a pragmatic budget with key focus on providing impetus to the manufacturing sector. The sector will also benefit from the government's strong focus on boosting infrastructure. The government's continued commitment to provide the necessary support and investments in infrastructure, will encourage a strong and resilient domestic manufacturing sector. While the government is committed to growth of the manufacturing sector through 'Digital India' and 'Make in India' initiatives, it should further strengthen policy frameworks to support and encourage the manufacturing sector. Also, the manufacturing industry provides great opportunities for investment and employment in the country. We hope the government further encourages the automobile industry and lays down a long-term roadmap to help the sector plan its investments in new technologies and skill development. Further, we expect the government to take adequate measures in terms of improving liquidity which will lead to increase in consumer spending and in turn, boost the economy and GDP."
Groupe PSA has entered India with the Citroen brand's first product to be the C5 Aircross SUV, scheduled for a September 2020 launch. The C5 Aircross is a mid-size, 5-seater SUV, with dimensions rivalling that of the Hyundai Tucson, VW Tiguan and Honda CR-V. With the close to 95 per cent localisation that Citroen is aiming for, we expect competitive pricing too. Citroen has also confirmed that post the launch of the C5 Aircross, it plans to launch two more vehicles in the next two years. The C3 Aircross, a smaller-sized SUV that will enter one of the most hotly-contested segments against the likes of the Hyundai Creta, the Volkswagen T-Cross and the Jeep Compass, amongst many others.
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