WHAT IS THE BEST/ WORST THING ABOUT THIS BUD­GET?

India Today - - COVER STORY -

AD.K. JOSHI

(Did not an­swer)

ASHIMA GOYAL

Best: Re­duc­ing the cash do­na­tion limit for po­lit­i­cal do­na­tions to Rs 2,000 and elec­toral bonds

Worst: Not enough done to ad­dress growth slow­down

USHA THO­RAT

Best: Fo­cus on ru­ral and so­cial spend­ing Worst: No clear prospects for pub­lic sec­tor banks

ADITI NAYAR

In ad­di­tion to fis­cal con­sol­i­da­tion and in­fra­struc­ture, the fo­cus on ease of do­ing busi­ness is a big pos­i­tive.

Com­pared to ICRA’s es­ti­mate that PSBs re­quire Rs 45,000-50,000 crore of to­tal Tier 1 cap­i­tal in FY2018, the al­lo­ca­tion of Rs 10,000 crore for bank re­cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion ap­pears in­ad­e­quate

N.R. BHANUMURTHY

In­creas­ing pub­lic in­vest­ments in the in­fra­struc­ture sec­tor (both ur­ban and ru­ral), ex­pand­ing ru­ral hous­ing, fo­cus­ing on em­ploy­ment in­ten­sive sec­tors such as tex­tile, tourism, leather, MSMEs and, most im­por­tantly, fo­cus­ing on youth, are some of the best things in the bud­get.

While the gov­ern­ment tar­gets 3.2 per cent fis­cal deficit, as in the past, it ap­pears that it is again de­pend­ing on Other Cap­i­tal Re­ceipts (which is mainly dis­in­vest­ments). Go­ing by past trends, achiev­ing such high re­ceipts is go­ing to be near-im­pos­si­ble. An­other is the as­sump­tion about de­cline in pe­tro­leum sub­sidy. Given that there are large ex­pec­ta­tions about higher oil prices, re­duc­tion in oil sub­sidy might be un­re­al­is­tic

RA­JIV KU­MAR

Best is the ramp­ing up of pub­lic ex­pen­di­ture by 24.5 per cent, worst is not rais­ing the in­come level at which the 30 per cent per­sonal in­come tax will ap­ply

ASHOK GU­LATI

The good thing is that it ad­dresses the prob­lems of farm­ers by putting in quite a bit of money into ir­ri­ga­tion and crop in­sur­ance (about Rs 40,000 crore to­gether), ra­tio­nalises cor­po­rate and per­sonal in­come taxes for lower ends and puts big money in in­fra­struc­ture.

The dis­ap­point­ing part is that it failed to bite the bul­let in ra­tio­nal­is­ing food and fer­tiliser sub­si­dies that to­gether take away some Rs 2.15 lakh crore and suf­fer from high in­ef­fi­ciency and heavy leak­ages

NAUSHAD FORBES

The best thing about this bud­get is that it main­tained control on the fis­cal and rev­enue deficits. The only thing I didn’t like in the bud­get was the sur­charge for in­comes be­tween Rs 50 lakh and 1 crore. This seemed in­con­sis­tent with the fi­nance min­is­ter’s wel­come prin­ci­ple of want­ing to re­ward the hon­est. The fo­cus should be on widen­ing the tax net, not tax­ing the ex­ist­ing net more

SAMIRAN CHAKRABORTY

The bud­get is a good bal­ance be­tween fis­cal con­sol­i­da­tion and bet­ter ex­pen­di­ture mix; it re­frained from be­ing too pop­ulist and sup­ported a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture while keep­ing fis­cal con­sol­i­da­tion in mind. How­ever, more could have been done to pro­mote job growth

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