A recent pre-budget sentiment survey of small and medium businesses (SMB) by leading market research firm IMRB indicates confidence that the economy is looking up this year.
IMRB's Business & Industrial Research Division carried out an annual survey of SMBs operating in manufacturing, services and retail sector, in which 67 per cent of respondents expressed greater overall confidence in the economy, compared to 60 per cent in 2015.
The growth in GDP, government initiatives like 'Make in India' 'Digital India' and inflow of FDI seem to have contributed to the higher positive sentiment, the report says.
The surveyed participants expressed that global perception towards India as an investment market has also gone up. The government support to MSME's and 'decent' growth realisation lead to 60 per cent of the respondents saying that overall growth of the industry was higher, which is quite a jump from last year's 35 per cent.
While 47 per cent of them said that ease of doing business had improved as compared to 38 per cent the previous year, indicating a significant jump on this score.
Large scale manufacturing companies in metro regions are optimistic towards the economy and this is possibly because of the factors such as FDI and Make in India initiatives, the study added.
Similarly, small scale companies experienced significantly higher competition and expect the same for year 2016, while lesser number of respondents from large scale businesses suggested an increase in competition.
This may be and influence of the ggovernment support to the small and medium scale companies, and thus new small scale companies in the market, the report added.
Possible implementation of GST in near future, the 'Make in India' initiative and increasing FDI were cited as top three positives for the Indian economy by the respondents.
Inflation, weakening value of rupee and low availability of skilled labour were cited as some of the key concerns by the SMB's. The firms said that some of the key expectations from the forthcoming budget would be focusing on employment generation, managing inflation, and implementation of GST as well as reduction of paper work.