The Cochin Chamber’s CEO FORUM Breakfast Meeting series, meant for the Business Leaders in Cochin recommenced on Friday, the 8th of January 2021 after a 10-month break brought about by the restrictions imposed on account of the Corona virus pandemic.
Mr. Kishor Rungta, Chairman & Managing Director, FACT Limited, was the Speaker at the Session. He spoke on the “Union Budget 2021 – Will it leave Covid behind?”
Mr. K. Harikumar, President of the Chamber delivered the Welcome Address and introduced the Speaker. In his address, the President highlighted the various activities the Chamber initiated in the month of January, which included the representations and the press releases the Chamber made during this time.
The President then invited Mr. Pradeep of PJ Law offices a new Member of the Chamber to address the Forum and introduce his organisation and its activities. Mr. Pradeep thanked the Chamber for the opportunity and briefly introduced himself and his firm to the participants.
Mr. Kishor Rungta commenced his address by thanking the Chamber for inviting him as the Guest Speaker at the CEO Forum meeting. He said that in just one year, the pandemic has affected all of us and have made changes to our lives in ways that none of us ever expected. With the lockdown and following restrictions, activities across all sectors were restricted. However, he said that he is amazed at how quickly everything is getting back to normalcy with the help of various Online Tools and the advances in the digital world. Mr. Rungta said that to his mind, handling the challenges thrown up by the pandemic is nothing but a crisis management exercise for any Organisation.
To the question as to whether the Union Budget 2021 will leave Corona behind, Mr. Rungta said that the Budget has provided for many of the critical issues that are the outcome of the pandemic. He said that while this is commendable the biggest development is the focus of the Budget on the vaccine and its roll out. The new Vaccine can be considered as the first step to leaving Corona behind and the second being the budget in which, the Government of India has allotted almost 35,000 Crores for the Vaccination, he said. Apart from this the Government has allocated, almost 2.24 Lakh Crores for the Health Sector which is also a highly appreciable. This move by the Government will also create a lot of new jobs, and help the economy to revive faster.
Mr. Rungta emphasised that in the year, 2019-2020, India’s GDP was growing at a rate of 4.2%, however, the impact of the Covid – 19 Pandemic was so bad that the GDP went down by almost 7.5% in 2020-21 and in the Second Quarter especially, it went down by 27%. During this time, the Fiscal Deficit went up to 9.5% as the Government was forced to borrow money to pump liquidity into the Economy, which is also a very alarming situation. But the latest Budget has projected that for the year 2021-22, India’s GDP along with inflation will grow by an astonishing 14.4% along with the decrease in the Fiscal Deficit to 6.8%, giving good indications for the coming year.
The Government has also pumped in a lot of money to keep the Demand and Supply situation in the Market buoyant. Apart from all of this, the Government has also introduced a 64,180 Crores Swasth Bharat Yojana, Health Scheme, which will be utilised over a period of 6 years. In this budget, there is an allotment of 1.1 Lakh Crore for the railways which is a welcome move. Compared to the previous Budgets, this time around Kerala has been given consideration by allotting 65,000 Crores for Road Infrastructure Developments and has also got special mentions for the Cochin Metro Rail Project’s phase 2 Mr. Rungta said concluding his address.
The President of the Chamber presented a Memento to Mr. Kishor Rungta.
Wrapping up the meeting, Mr P M Veeramani the Vice President of the Chamber delivered the Vote of Thanks.