The FM has done a great job given conflicting objectives of fiscal consolidation and reviving growth. On one hand he has tried to deal with sustainable growth, kick-starting the economy with the infrastructure push, encourage manufacturing, entrepreneurship and job creation, while on the other he has focused on the middle class and rural masses with a slew of measures including social security net. This was indeed Budget for all.
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This Budget will help in the process of recovery by lowering rates as well as spurring investment. Setting up of an infra fund, reintroduction of tax free infra bonds and proposed corporatisation of ports are big positives for the sector. Lowering corporate tax to 25% over next 4 years will provide a fillip to investment. Introduction of the new bankruptcy code underlines the pragmatism of this government.
What the investing community will welcome is no imposition of MAT on FIIs, and deferring of GAAR by two years. Encouraging international fund managers to operate out of India is a game changer, and is in line with the government’s promise of easing the way of doing business in India. The gold monetisation drive should help jewelers to earn on inventories and bring idle gold into the system.
The FM has continued to support rural India by raising the outlay on MNREGA. The decision to promote postal banking will help to universalise access to banking. Accessible health insurance is another social need that has been addressed in this Budget. Alongside the higher transfers to States will help top decentralise decision making and promote balanced growth.