No immediate relief for OOH; benefits seen in the longer term: Industry leaders on Budget
By Bhawana Anand - February 02, 2021
Metro rail network expansion will boost transit media growth; medium to long term economic growth to have a positive cascading impact on OOH
Reflecting on the Union Budget 2021-22 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Lok Sabha on February 1, Noomi Mehta, Chairman & MD, Selvel One observed, “There is no major relief for the outdoor industry in the short run wherein the situation will automatically improve in the long run with a boost to the economy”.
The FM has laid emphasis on the expansion of Metro rail networks across the country with proposed allocation of Rs 63,246 crore for Chennai Metro Rail Network Phase-2 (118.9 km); Rs 14,788 crore for Bengaluru Metro Rail Network Project Phase-2A and Phase-2B (58.19 km); Rs 5,976 crore for Nagpur Metro Rail Network Project Phase-2; Rs 2,092 crore for Nashik Metro Rail Network Project; and Rs 1957.05 crore for Kochi Metro Rail Network Phase-2 (11.5 km). MetroLite and MetroNeo networks are to be introduced in Tier II cities.
On this, Sunil Vasudeva, Chairman, IOAA & Chairman, Pioneer Publicity said, “This will be an opportunity in the long run whereas the industry hasn’t received any benefits in the current run which can improvise the business”.
Mainline media agencies see a degree of positivity in the Budget which concentrates on health, infrastructure and physical capital. “According to me, this is a great Budget for the economy as well as for the advertising industry. It is clearly a growth-oriented budget and I am particularly enthused about the investments in Infrastructure and Health. What is also good is that the taxes have not been raised and the process of taxation has been attempted to be simplified. Disinvestments and Borrowings have been proposed as the preferred funding route, rather than increased taxation, which is helpful. Whenever the economy does well, the advertising industry benefits. Hence, I feel this economic growth that the budget fuels will result in good growth for the advertising industry this year and we should be positive and bullish, both about India’s economic future as well as for the advertising industry”, commented Ashish Bhasin, CEO-APAC and Chairman-India, Dentsu.
He added, “However, one has to still see the fine print because the important thing is that the ideas presented must result in smooth on-ground implementation, where our track record has not been that great in the past. Overall, I find this a good, growth-oriented budget, with some benefits for almost every section of the economy and hopefully this should bring our GDP growth into double digits making India the world’s fastest-growing economy this year.”
On similar lines, Anurag Bansal, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer, DDB Mudra Group, pointed out, “The biggest good news coming out from this Union Budget is no negative tax on corporates as well as individuals and no Covid cess. With the big push on infrastructure and healthcare spending, corporates in these sectors stand to gain. Raising resources without increasing taxes, powered by massive borrowings are the key highlights of this Union Budget. It will enable the Government to invest in growth impulses leading to structural changes in the economy. This will help in capital formation in real assets and demand generation. The time limit to reopen tax assessments is reduced to 3 years from 6 years, coupled with ease of tax compliance, which will simplify business challenges.
“Overall, Indian economy’s recovery from the impact of Covid-19 has been much better than expected, leading to a spectacular bounce back in consumer sentiments. Advertising and media stand to gain as the economy picks up momentum and clients resume their spends. And with the focus of Budget 2021 on capital expenditure and nation building, it augurs well for consumers, markets and businesses,” Anurag observed.