The industry on Monday welcomed the Budget terming it as “positive” and “growth-oriented” and some leaders were pleasantly surprised with the unchanged excise rate in major sectors.

“Overall, the Budget is a growth-oriented and a good one and it has not taken the last year’s growth for granted,” CII President Hari Bhartia said.

He, however, said the Finance Minister should have given more stress to the health sector and the “demand for treatment of healthcare as infrastructure has been overlooked”.

Mr.Bhartia said the targetted subsidy on kerosene and food will reduce the wastage of subsidy.

“Also the digitisation of I-T system will expand the tax base. Compliance and self regulation will reduce human interaction,” he added.

Expressing similar views, Kotak Mahindra Bank Vice- Chairman and Managing Director Uday Kotak said: “Budget is positive for the equity and bond market. A 4.6 per cent fiscal deficit is looking like a very good number.”

He said the auto sector was expecting a hike in excise, which has been kept unchanged at the existing levels.

“Budget has positively surprised us,” he said, adding the “Budget has done better than normal expectation“.

He, however, said that the income tax relief provided to general tax payers as “marginal move” as it has been increased by only Rs 20,000 to Rs 1.80 lakh from current limit of Rs 1.60 lakh.

Commenting on the proposal to launch a national mission for hybrid and electric vehicles, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) President Pawan Goenka said: “This is a very welcome move. It will allow advanced technologies to be developed in India rather than importing technology.”

Although there were no specific measures, such as allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, Future Group Chief Kishore Biyani said the government is showing its recognition through the Budget what the modern retail has been saying so far.

“The announcements made to strengthen the farm sector, cold chain investments and recommendations to amend the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act are all indicative of the government’s will,” he said.

“All the measures announced today are a precursor for things to come,” Mr. Biyani added.

ENAM Securities Chairman Vallabh Bhansali: “He (Mukherjee) has succeeded in fighting all populist forces I am happy with what he has done.”