This Budget ticks almost all boxes. However, it lacks a definite wow factor.
It provides impetus to manufacturing, growth in infrastructure, clarity on the goods and services tax, tax structures and raised foreign direct investment caps in the insurance and defence sectors. It is a forward-thinking Budget emphasising digitisation, venture capital, growth of entrepreneurs, innovation centres and alignment with international accounting standards.
The fiscal deficit targets, if achieved, look promising. While the finance minister did look at resolving the inverted duty structure for many products, there was nothing for rubber, important for the tyre sector. I hope we are able to resolve this. A sum of Rs 37,000 crore has been allocated towards the construction of roads and a Rs 50,000-crore corpus has been set aside for a long-term rural credit fund, some of which can be used for farm implements such as tractors. In the long term, moves like these will be beneficial for the automobile and ancillary sectors.
There have been announcements of new schemes with small outlays. How these pan out remains to be seen. It was a good Budget, covering all key points we had hoped for.
Managing Director, CEAT