Union Budget 2021-22: The Government has Completely Ignored the Bleeding Events Sector, says EEMA

Industry Watch | February 1, 2021 | Feature

Budget 2021 Samit Garg Siddhartha Chaturvedi Sai Srinivas Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

As Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2021-22 in Parliament, it was largely welcomed as a big growth budget, with focus on health, infrastructure and education. However, the Budget makes no provisions for the events industry, which had appealed to the Minister to extend support for revival from the dire economic situation it is facing because of the pandemic.

The only thing that may remotely bring cheer to the events industry is the grant of Rs 300 crore to the Government of Goa for celebration of 50 years of independence from the Portuguese. Also, increased Government spending may yield more business opportunities for event companies.

This year, the Budget is based on six pillars — health and well-being, physical and financial capital and infrastructure, inclusive development for aspirational India, reinvigorating human capital, innovation and R&D, and 'Minimum Government, Maximum Governance'. It has come at a time when India’s economy is reeling under the after-effects of the COVID-19 induced lockdown, one of the worst hit being the events and entertainment industry. To stakeholders of the events industry, the Budget is disappointing as it doesn’t touch upon the sector at all.

Here is what industry players have to say:

Siddhartha Chaturvedi, General Secretary, EEMA:

"The Budget has been extremely disappointing for us in events. The Government has completely ignored this bleeding sector, and so is the case of the entire hospitality, tourism and aviation sectors, which are all related to each other. We were really looking forward to a helping hand from the Government in these dire times. The Budget also exposes a great divide in tax structure for MSMEs as larger corporates will enjoy a lower tax structure in comparison to smaller businesses like ours. The Budget, though, looks good with focus on healthcare and infrastructure which on a macro level is good for nation-building. The steep increase of more than 30% on capital expenditure is a welcome move where the Government is showing intent to spend a lot to infuse economic activities but we were really expecting some SOS measures for our industry in particular and are extremely disappointed with this lack of empathy towards us."

Samit Garg, EVP, EEMA:

"The Budget largely seems progressive for the economy. However, there is unfortunately nothing in there for our events and experiential industry. The only silver lining is the increased Government expenditure which may yield more business opportunities for us."

Encouraging for Indian gaming industry- 

Sai Srinivas, Co-founder and CEO, Mobile Premier League(MPL):

“Digital payments infrastructure has played a very important role in the growth of the mobile gaming industry. It is very encouraging to see the Government’s efforts to strengthen digital payments through incentivization. The Rs 1,500 crore boost will further support migration of more people towards digital payments and will have a positive impact on the mobile skill gaming industry. The incentivizing of one-person companies is especially heartening as it promotes the development of more game creators that will help in strengthening the gaming industry in India. The move has also allowed conversion of one-person companies to any other kind, reducing residency limit from 182 days to 120 days. India is at the cusp of creating a wave of mobile gaming unicorns, these measures only support that momentum. With these announcements acting as winds in our sails the Indian gaming industry can aspire to be the global hub of game development.” 

Here’s what industry players have to say on the Union Budget for 2021-22 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today

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