Hyderabad: As chairman of a conglomerate based in the city, Mr Tipirneni Seshagiri Rao is looking forward to the budget with cautious optimism. Rao believes that many sectors of the economy are bogged down due to a slowdown. He hopes the Budget will address these issues. Mr Rao’s Sentini Group has recorded revenues of over Rs 2,000 crore.
One of Mr Rao’s biggest grouses with the government is corporate tax. “The rates are too high. It is a burden to most businesses. The multinationals can still bear it but small and medium ones cannot,” he said. Rao also said the GST regime had more of a negative impact than a positive one. “The tax rate on some goods is as astronomical as 28 per cent. This should not be the case. We need uniformity,” he said.
Mr Rao became an entrepreneur two decades ago, when he was 56. He says he knows what a business needs to succeed. “Start-ups need to be given a boost. The government’s schemes for this are not enough. For instance, the MUDRA loans given to micro and small enterprises are very little amounts. Also, they don’t check the borrower’s credit-worthiness. Start-ups need better access to credit,” he said. Mr Rao also felt that start-ups need to be given longer tax holidays.
Indeed, the Tipirneni family’s empire is quite large. His son Srinivas heads an IT company based in the USA. One of his two daughters, Ms Padma, runs a hospital in Vijayawada while the other, Ms Jaya, is involved in running other companies of the group.
As an employer, Mr Rao said, the government could be better to his employees. “Employees should be exempted from paying their salary for Provident Fund. We employers should continue to contribute but instead of the employee, it should be the government that contributes to employees’ PF,” he said.
Rao hoped the budget would give impetus to public spending. “A year ago, India was touted to be the world’s fastest major economy. However, in the last year, smaller economies like Vietnam and Bangladesh have registered a better growth. If, as a country, we want to come back on the desired growth track, a strong impetus is the need of the hour,” he said. He said the Budget should aim at creating jobs, increase spending on infrastructure to jumpstart consumption. “We should be willing to sacrifice on fiscal deficit targets for short term to pull up the economy,” Mr Rao said.