ALSO READBudget 2018 might have Rs 740-bn allocation towards fertiliser subsidy Palaniswami hails 'fairly balanced, farm and rural oriented Budget 2018 Budget 2018: Why take a train when you can fly on an airplane Budget 2018 like big summer blockbuster for markets, says comic Sorabh Pant Budget 2018: Rural focus a standout feature, says Dabur's Amit Burman
Do you think the Budget will help revive the economy?
It will have a mixed impact. This is a pro-farmer budget but does not give enough wings to the market players in general. Investors are unhappy about re-introduction of Long-Term Capital Gains tax on sales.
We were also hoping to hear the Budget build clarity on the policy framework for land-bank monetisation for institutions such as AAI and Indian Railways to reduce dependency on central budget allocations.
What was the best thing about the Budget?
This budget has the much-needed approach for creating a holistic tourism infrastructure evident by Jaitley's mention of boosting the air, land and rail connectivity, a proposal for focus on safety and sanitation and setting up Wi-Fi hotspots. It’s heartening to see the government backing up the ambitious
UDAN plan with budgetary provisions for airports. What is noteworthy is that the thought process has been comprehensive, and in addition to connectivity, there is a separate mention of expanding airport capacity by five times.
And the worst?
Bigger players remain untouched by the corporate tax rate cut from 30% to 25%, which has been limited to companies with a turnover of less than Rs 2.5 billion. Some thrust on boosting the digital and payment infrastructure for sectors with big-ticket transactions like travel and a tax relief especially for indirect taxes (levied on the tourism and hospitality sector which is considerably higher than some of the major tourist destinations globally) is something that we were hopeful of hearing.
Will the Budget fetch political gains for the Narendra Modi's government?
The Budget does have elements to bring cheer to the farmer fraternity at large. The announcement to boost the travel infrastructure in the country will not go unnoticed.
Anand Kandadai, Executive Vice President, Cleartrip