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It is a balanced Budget, with an added focus on the poor and farmers. The aim of doubling the household income of marginal farmers by 2022, providing minimum support price for farm produce to insulate farmers from the vagaries of agriculture, better marketing and trading infrastructure for agri produce and health care for the poor are bold commitments indeed.
At the same time, the focus on infrastructure — connecting all habitation with roads — and affordable housing, both in the rural and urban areas, are good moves.
The decision to reduce the base rate of income tax to 25 per cent is a welcome concession and a motivation to small and medium enterprises. At the same time, this is a disciplined government; fiscal deficit targets are well in control at 3.5 per cent. The salaried class has got some help through the standard deduction; this will benefit low-income wage earners.
Anil Agarwal, Chairman, Vedanta ResourcesThe introduction of 10 per cent tax on long-term capital gains on the equity market is understandable, given that we need to fund the welfare schemes while also invest in infrastructure and growth.
Some more incentives for big-ticket private investments were required to kick-start the investment cycle. It would have gone a long way in helping create jobs and attract capital.