I am certain that the growth in India will come from rural areas and not just from urban pockets or society’s privileged sections. I would like to see more money directly flowing into consumers’ pockets through tax incentives or other means so that they have more money to spend. Also, clients need to be incentivised to spend more on advertising since that would create a demand and spur the economy.
I also expect the Union Budget to allocate funds toward investments in infrastructure. I am very bullish about India to flourish as an economy. However, to achieve our ambitions, we need a strong infrastructure, and this is the right time for us to be investing heavily in that.
When it comes to the taxation policies that advertising agencies are liable for, I believe that agencies don’t mind the taxes. However, the taxation process is encumbered by complexities. It wastes too much time. The rationalisation of taxes, combined with smoothened transactions by a more simplified process will go a long way in benefitting our industry.
Around April last year, the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) had made a few appeals to the government. There was a lot of money stuck with the government and the liquidity situation was too tight owing to the lockdown, at the time. While I am not certain whether it had had an impact on them but there was a partial response from the government wherein some of the funds held by the state governments were released. Nevertheless, now is the time to see if they would consider the much-needed tax incentives. I am hoping that the upcoming budget would be a growth-oriented one, which indirectly helps advertising and we know that advertising generates demand.