This is a responsible budget, says FICCI president; corporates give it a 7.5 rating
India Inc. welcomed the budget as ‘development-oriented’ and ‘inclusive.’ It applauded Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s efforts to boost economic growth, contain fiscal deficit and provide adequate incentives for the economy.
Asked by The Hindu to rate the budget, most granted it a generous 7.5/10.
“Many proposals are development-inclusive. It will add to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. We are particularly glad to see incentives for agricultural sector, MSME sector, infrastructure and capital market,” said Adi Godrej, CII president.
“It’s not a big bang budget but a growth-oriented one. The positive sentiment is the key takeaway. It is an analytic budget, there is not much fault to be found,” he added.
Sharing similar sentiments, Naina Lal Kidwai, FICCI president, said “this is a responsible budget.”
“I think that growth is central... The budget has stressed the issue of growth and creation of more jobs,” she said.
‘Bold and pragmatic’
D.S. Rawat, secretary-general, Assocham said: “The Finance Minister has presented a bold and pragmatic budget, ahead of the general elections next year. It is an investor-oriented and growth-oriented budget.”
Other industry heads and corporate honchos were all praise for the Finance Minister’s proposals as they seemed hopeful about the year ahead.
“The budget policy direction is on the right path. Investment needs to pick up. The economy will not tank further. There should now be a reversal,” M.S. Unnikrishnan, CEO, Thermax Limited, told The Hindu.
India Inc. was quick to analyse the role and responsibility of the Finance Minster as well.
“A budget can’t provide solutions to all the problems in the economy. The solution lies in the various Ministries. The Finance Minister doesn’t have capabilities to take action on their behalf. Actions have to be taken at State levels, at Ministry levels, if we are talking about 6 to 7 per cent growth,” said R.C. Bharagava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki.
“Mr. Chidambaram pledged the fiscal deficit for next year would be kept to 4.8 per cent of GDP. The fiscal deficit for the current financial year has been contained at 5.2 per cent of GDP, lower than 5.3 per cent.”
“The Finance Minister is most experienced and knowledgeable. He has presented a budget to revive economic growth. He has made a solid prediction with regard to fiscal deficit and allowances for FDI,” said Vikram Singh Mehta, chairman, Brookings India.
“We must give him the benefit of the doubt. There are a number of factors outside his control including world economy and global oil prices,” he added.
‘Rich can pitch in’
India Inc. came in support of the proposed 10 per cent surcharge on income above Rs. 1 crore.
“The surcharge on the rich is presented in a good way. The rich in this country can afford to pitch in,” said Jagadish Khattar, Carnation Auto India Private Limited.
‘More capital needed’
However, not all were happy with the proposals.
“We need more foreign capital. There are hardly any concrete plans. I was expecting more taxes. There are no clear signs,” Piruz Khambatta, chairman and managing director, Rasna Private Limited said.