Budget 2021 LIVE: Budget is a shot in the arm for Indian economy, says S&P

Budget 2021 LIVE: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Union Budget 2021 speech announced a slew of taxation reforms but left personal income tax slab unchanged. Track Budget 2021 highlights

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nirmala sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman | Photo: PTI

Budget 2021 LIVE updates: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her third Union Budget in Parliament, which rests on six pillars – health and well-being, physical, financial capital and infrastructure, inclusive development for aspirational India, reinvigorating human capital, innovation and R&D and minimum government and maximum governance. The finance minister has announced a total spend of around Rs 2 trillion on healthcare and mega national highway projects in election-bound states of Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam and Kerala.

Addressing the nation after the Budget presentation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this year's Budget was prepared under unprecendented circumstances. He said it speaks of 'all-round development'.

"From Covid-related reforms to Atmanirbhar resolve, we moved ahead with this mantra in Budget 2021. It's an active and not a reactive budget," he added, congratulating Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her team.

The Budget speech was keenly watched by both domestic and foreign investors, various interest groups like farmers, anxious middle class and corporate entities, besides parliamentarians.

As the Covid-19 pandemic hit India last year, the government witnessed a rising expenditure and tumbling revenue, even as economic activity came to a standstill due to the pandemic-induced lockdown. However, the economy is now in a recovery mode. On Friday, the government tabled the Economic Survey 2020, which pegged India's real GDP growth at 11 per cent in FY22.

Stay tuned for Budget 2021 LIVE updates with Business Standard.
8:42 PM

Budget 2021: Textile parks may attract big investments from players

Large apparel manufacturers may consider investing in the seven textile parks proposed in the Union Budget on Monday. The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that textiles were a champion sector under its Make in India programme.
 
The parks, to be set up over 1,000 acres of land in three years, will be in addition to the Rs 10,683-crore production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for technical textiles and manmade fibre announced earlier.
 
Industry experts and executives that Business Standard spoke to said that up to Rs 5,000 crore could be pumped in by large garment manufacturers and exporters, keen to take advantage of the tax sops and benefits that the parks will provide. READ ON...

Photo: Reuters
8:08 PM

Budget proposes astute reforms, simultaneous action for supply and demand

The economic survey gave us key numbers for GDP growth: 6, 4, -7.7 and 11 for 21-22! Highest growth in the world for India seemed on the cards.
 
The V-shaped recovery is fed by an initial severe lockdown, in kind relief, financial and legal forbearance and some cash in the hands of the poorest. This was followed by a calibrated opening up. These actions extended the fiscal, caused a current account surplus, led to FDI and FPI flows and an unprecedented Foreign currency reserve of US$ 586billion. Clearly, astute reforms and simultaneous supply and demand side actions are in place. Investment in health, education, innovation, infrastructure, digitisation, and recapitalisation of state-owned banks are all signalled. READ MORE...

Budget, economy, rupee
 
7:28 PM

Budget 2021 breather for 'small companies', LLPs and one-person companies

More than 200,000 companies will have reduced compliance burden following a change in the definition of small companies announced in the Union Budget 2021-22 in terms of fewer compliances, and lower filing fees and penalties.
 
The budget has raised the threshold of paid-up capital for small companies from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 2 crore and turnover from Rs 2 crore to Rs 20 crore. Companies falling under this definition would not have to prepare cash flows as part of financial statements and would need to hold only two board meetings a year.

While other companies must provide details of remuneration to directors and key managerial personnel, small companies have to give details of the only aggregate amount of remuneration drawn by directors in their annual returns. Mandatory rotation of auditors would also not be required. READ ON...

Capital expenditure

6:08 PM

How will Budget 2021 impact senior citizens, NRIs and salaried people

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her third Union Budget in Parliament, which rests on six pillars – health and well-being, physical, financial capital and infrastructure, inclusive development for aspirational India, reinvigorating human capital, innovation and R&D and minimum government and maximum governance. The finance minister has announced a total spend of around Rs 2 trillion on healthcare and mega national highway projects in election-bound states of Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam and Kerala.
 
In this podcast, Business Standard talked about the key announcements of Budget 20021 in detail - how the Budget will impact finances of senior citizens, non resident Indians, salaried people and the changes in taxation on Ulips and ease of ITR
 
Budget 2021, economy, currency, investment, saving
4:40 PM

PSU divestment, LIC IPO, fiscal deficit: How brokerages read Budget 2021

Markets have been on fire after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented Budget proposals for fiscal 2021-22 (FY22) with the S&P BSE Sensex surging over 3,300 points in just two sessions. Most brokerages have given a thumbs-up to the proposals, calling them ‘pro-growth’ that will entail a capex-driven revival of Covid-19 impacted Indian economy, even though fiscal deficit and the borrowing programme of the government for the next financial year came in a tad higher-than-expectation.
 
Divestment of select public sector banks (PSBs) and one general insurance company, initial public offer (IPO) of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), Air India, tax rationalisation of dividends of foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) and bringing them at par with treaty rates coupled with no new taxes for investment in capital markets are some of the proposals that have propped up markets.
 
3:48 PM

Why pharma stocks are underperforming despite Rs 2.23 trn Budget allocation

Union Budget 2021, which was presented amid a global health crisis, was sketched with 6 pillars in focus. Among these, healthcare was the foremost agendum of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitha­raman’s Budget speech, and the sector was allocated a generous pie of the entire budgetary allocation.
 
At Rs 223,846 crore, the sector's allocation jumped around 118 per cent over the Revised Estimate of the current fiscal year. Yet, stocks from the sector have been underwhelming at the bourses. READ ABOUT IT HERE
 
The S&P BSE Healthcare index is up just 1 per cent on the BSE today, at 20,891.5 levels, as against an over 2 per cent gain in the S&P BSE Sensex. In the past two days, the Sensex index has jumped nearly 4,000 points or 7.2 per cent, compared with the Healthcare index’s 1.2 per cent gain. READ MORE...

Budget 2021, Healthcare
 
2:59 PM

Budget session: 27 bills passed earlier to be presented in Lok Sabha today

On the second day of the Budget Session, 27 bills passed by the Houses of Parliament during the fourth session of the 17th Lok Sabha will be tabled in the Lower House on Tuesday.
 
Today's Lok Sabha session will also see various Standard Committee reports on Coal and Steel, Home Affairs, Health and Family Welfare, among others being presented.
 
After the Lower House assembles at 4 pm, Secretary General Utpal Kumar Singh will table 27 Bills passed by the Houses of Parliament during the Fourth Session of Seventeenth Lok Sabha and assented to by President Ram Nath Kovind. READ MORE...

With the central bank halting monetary easing since mid-2020, citing high inflation, the onus is on Sitharaman to loosen the budget despite having meager resources to work with.
2:16 PM

Budget 2021: Increase of between 1-2 per cent in women's labour force participation this year

On the occasion of the Union Budget 2021 having been presented in the parliament by Nirmala Sitaraman, Minister of Finance, Government of India, and the announcement that women will be allowed to work all shifts, there is a lot of speculation about how this will impact women's representation, ANI reported.
 
"Budget 2021 has immense potential to increase the employment of women. With the creation of two vaccines which, will ensure a return to normal economic activity, the schemes announced are well thought through and appear inclusive especially when the IMF has predicted double-digit growth for India," said Dr Saundarya Rajesh, Founder- President, Avtar Group, a social enterprise working to increase women's workforce participation and gender diversity across the country.
 
It must also be kept in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic had disproportionately impacted women forcing them to drop out of the workforce. India's women's labour force participation, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, is at an all-time low of 21 per cent, down from 25 per cent, due to the increase in the number of jobs lost by women.
1:51 PM

Budget 2021 a big effort by govt to boost country's economic recovery: S&P

Global rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) on Tuesday said that India's Budget for FY22 represents a comprehensive effort by the central government to shore up the country's nascent economic recovery. However, the brawny spending programme also entails higher-than-expected general government deficits--at more than 14 per cent of GDP this fiscal year (FY21). It would be 11.6 per cent in FY22.
 
The rating agency, in a statement, said it currently sees no material effect from the Budget on India's key credit factors. But, the economy's brightening growth prospects will be critical to maintaining the sustainability of public finances. The general government debt likely to hover at more than 90 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the next few years.
 
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Budget for FY22 in the Parliament on February 1, 2021. READ ON...

Budget 2021
1:09 PM

India Inc sees growth revival and job creation with Budget 2021

Karthikeyan Natarajan, President and Chief Operating Officer, Cyient - "Coming out of the pandemic year, the Finance Minister has laid down a well-rounded Budget. Focus on setting up of Fintech Hub at Gift City, enhancing digital payments and use of AI in governance - all provide a strong platform for Digital India. Allocation of Rs 50,000 crore towards National Research Foundation will work towards boosting India's Innovation Quotient on the global map and is a welcome move. Allocation of funds as incentives for promoting digital payments is also a step in the right direction and a significant step in ease of doing business. Lastly, increase in allocation for highways and railways will lead to employment generation and boost the economic growth of the nation."
 
"The budget is a major step in the right direction. It outlays a strong focus on infrastructure, healthcare, capital spending, disinvestment, monetization, job creation and digitization. These measures are not only progressive and recovery-led, if implemented correctly would ease the burden on the economy and lead India towards the projected v-shaped growth and development. The budget talks about structural reforms in banking, enhancing debt financing and credit limits for businesses and asset monetization. This will lead to an increase in government spending, which, in turn will spur demand, therefore net positive for the industry. The several initiatives around job-creation, startups, reskilling, rural development and better quality of services to people are positive as a Nation cannot progress without care for the environment and inclusive all-round transformation," said Rajiv Bhalla, MD, Barco India.
12:43 PM

Wider fiscal deficit, consolidation could pressure India's ratings: Fitch

Wider fiscal deficits and a more gradual pace of consolidation will lift the Indian government's debt and pressure its sovereign ratings, Fitch Ratings said, cautioning that the fiscal firepower is limited due to a high debt ratio.
 
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the current year fiscal deficit will touch 9.5% of GDP, much higher than the budgeted 3.5% and sharply above analyst estimates of around 7%. Read on...
12:38 PM

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary gives adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha over farm laws

Leader of Congress Party in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary and party Chief Whip in Lok Sabha Koddikunil Suresh have given adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha over farm laws.
12:27 PM

Deficit targets in Budget 2021 are higher: Fitch

Deficit targets presented in India's Budget are higher and medium-term consolidation more gradual than expected, Fitch Ratings said on Tuesday.
 
The government's prioritisation of fiscal support for the population's health and well-being, and ongoing economic recovery are understandable.
 
"At the same time, however, there is little fiscal space given India's high public debt ratio prior to the virus shock (around 90 per cent of GDP compared to the 53 per cent 2020 'BBB median)," said Jeremy Zook, Director at Fitch Ratings' Asia Pacific Sovereigns team.
 
"The Budget forecasts wider near-term deficits of 9.5 per cent of GDP in FY21 and 6.8 per cent in FY22 and a more gradual pace of consolidation than we had previously anticipated reaching 4.5 per cent only by FY26," he said.
12:13 PM

India's bigger Budget is a shot in the arm for economy: S&P

India's Budget for fiscal 2022 (ending March 31, 2022) represents a comprehensive effort by the Central government to shore up the country's nascent economic recovery, S & P Global Rating said on Tuesday.
 
But the brawny spending programme also entails higher-than-expected general government deficits -- at more than 14 per cent of GDP this fiscal year and 11.6 per cent in fiscal 2022.
 
"While we currently see no material effect from the Budget on key credit factors, the economy's brightening growth prospects will be critical to maintaining the sustainability of public finances, with general government debt likely to hover at more than 90 per cent of GDP over the next few years."
11:53 AM

Budget session 2021 LIVE: RS chairman calls for disruption-free, orderly discussions in House

Keen to ensure orderly functioning of the Upper House of Parliament, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday asked MPs to follow rules, maintain discipline and dignity while discussing issues of national and public importance in the House.
 
Making a veiled reference to the ugly scenes witnessed in the House during the passage of farm bills in the last session, Naidu asked members to make the current budget session "more purposeful" where issues are discussed threadbare in "a peaceful, orderly and dignified manner."
 
"Last time some unfortunate incidents happened," he said without going into the details.
 
In September last year, opposition MPs tore the rule book, climbed on the podium and created a ruckus during the passage of three farm sector reform bills.
 
"It is binding on all of us to see that the House functions properly, members follow rules and regulations, maintain discipline and dignity and also participate in debates in a meaningful manner," Naidu said.
 
"I have all along been appealing to members to prevent any such situation which will affect the interest of Parliament and also the nation," he said.
 
11:35 AM

How right is it to use budget as 'tool' to win polls? Sena

The Shiv Sena on Tuesday claimed Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced big packages in the budget for some poll-bound states, and asked how right is it to use the budget as a "tool" to win elections.
 
Accusing the Centre of setting a new trend of playing "dirty politics" for votes through the budget, an editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said the allocation of more funds to poll-bound states is a kind of "bribery".
 
It also accused the Centre of ignoring Maharashtra which, it said, contributes highest revenue to the Union government's coffers.
 
Finance Minister Sitharaman presented the 2021-22 Union Budget on Monday.
10:34 AM

Rajya Sabha adjourned till 11:30 am

10:32 AM

PSU divestment, LIC IPO, fiscal deficit: How brokerages read Budget 2021

Markets have been on fire after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented Budget proposals for fiscal 2021-22 (FY22) with the S&P BSE Sensex surging over 3,300 points in just two sessions. Most brokerages have given a thumbs-up to the proposals, calling them ‘pro-growth’ that will entail a capex-driven revival of Covid-19 impacted Indian economy, even though fiscal deficit and the borrowing programme of the government for the next financial year came in a tad higher-than-expectation. Read on...
10:15 AM

Budget session 2021: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 10:30 am

Rajya Sabha adjourned till 10:30 am after Opposition creates ruckus over farm laws.
9:28 AM

Union Home Minister Amit Shah reaches Parliament in New Delhi

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First Published: Feb 01 2021 | 6:01 AM IST

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