Budget 2020 reactions | Kerala CM slams Budget

Officials check the Union Budget 2020 documents outside the Parliament building in New Delhi

Officials check the Union Budget 2020 documents outside the Parliament building in New Delhi   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

Here are the reactions to the 2020 Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2020-21 in the Parliament on Saturday.

Here is how various stakeholders across sectors responded to it.


7.15 p.m.


Budget ignores Kerala's legitimate needs: Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan slammed the union budget, saying that it would neither help strengthen the economy nor ensure social security or development, but only further increase inflation and unemployment in the country.

All the legitimate needs of the southern State were completely ignored in the budget, though Kerala had submitted a detailed memorandum on its long pending demands, Mr. Vijayan said.

"Kerala had put forward a slew of demands, including the Angamali-Sabari railway line, raising rubber subsidy, granting of AIIMS, accelerating the development of national highways, increasing the number of attaches in embassies in the Gulf countries, rehabilitation of expatriates and so on," he said in a statement.

It was only last month that Kerala had been denied deserved natural disaster relief though it was one of the worst flood hit States in recent times, he said.

In the case of Kerala, the same “political mindset” was reflected in the budget also, he said.

The budget, which comprises proposals to sell more Public Sector Undertakings, has not provided enough funds for the survival of PSUs like the Cochin Shipyard and Kochi refinery in the State, Mr. Vijayan said.

The Centre, which is constantly denying States their rightful share in the matter of GST, was now trying to ‘grab’ their rights in agriculture and land sectors, going against the federal principles, he alleged.

It was also interesting to note that the union budget had no serious mention about the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the Chief Minister added. - PTI



'A massive boost to business confidence and entrepreneurship', says Sunil Mittal

The Finance Minister’s assertion that wealth creators will be respected offers a massive boost to business confidence and entrepreneurship in the country, Chairman of Bharti Enterprises Sunil Mittal said on Saturday.

Mr. Mittal further said the Budget underlined the Government’s intent towards building a strong foundation for achieving the goal of making India a $ 5 trillion economy.

“But the biggest takeaway for me was the call out from the Finance Minister that ‘wealth creators will be respected’ This will be a massive boost to business confidence and entrepreneurship and a sign that we are serious about building a new India, where corporate India and new age entrepreneurs will be stakeholders in growth,” Mr. Mittal said.

He noted that digital technologies are set to become the primary platform for economic activity and growth.

“The Finance Minister has rightfully made the emerging global technology trends along with inclusive growth as the backdrop for the Budget,” he said.

Focus on soft infrastructure’ elements such as Education and skilling of youth, healthcare and sanitation, and welfare of women, will ensure that Indians, specifically youth, gets access to the fruits of economic growth.- PTI



Agriculture Minister hails Budget

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar hailed the Budget 2020 saying adequate funds to the tune of Rs 1.60 lakh crore has been allocated for agriculture and its allied sector including irrigation for the next fiscal.

A 16-point action plan has been chalked out for realising the target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, he said, adding that several schemes like PM-Kisan are being implemented are benefitting the farming community.

“The government’s focus has been ‘Gaon, gareeb and kisan’ and the focus in the Budget on providing better facilities to this section reinforces the government’s commitment of ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas,” Tomar said in a statement.

Rs 1.60 lakh crore has been allocated for the agriculture and its allied sector, and Rs 1.23 lakh crore for the rural development, he added. - PTI



Goa CM terms Budget 'common man-centric'

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant welcomed the Union Budget 2020-21, terming it as “common man-centric”, while the opposition Congress slammed it saying that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was completely silent on the issue of unemployment.

The Shiv Sena also criticised the budget saying there was nothing specific for Goa in it.

“I congratulate Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman ji for a common man centric budget, and for taking ahead Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji’s vision for a robust and vibrant India,” CM Sawant said in a tweet.


6:30 p.m.


‘Budget didn’t meet auto industry expectations’

Rajan Wadhera, president, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM):

“The Indian automobile industry was looking forward to some direct benefits in the budget, which could have helped in reviving demand in the context of the current slowdown and huge investments made by the Industry for transition to BS-6 and from that aspect, the Budget speech was not what we were expecting.

“On behalf of the automobile industry, SIAM had made specific recommendations on steps that could revive demand like an Incentive based vehicle scrappage scheme; budget allocation for diesel buses procurement by STUs and NIL customs duty for lithium ion batteries, doesn’t seem to have been considered, although we are yet to go through all the fine prints.

“The increase in customs duty for CKDs and SKDs of electric vehicles and CBUs of Commercial vehicles however are positive steps for Make in India. The announcements made with respect to rural economy and infrastructural development are some positives and we are hopeful to see quick execution on ground, since it can act as an enabler for increased economic activity and hence increase in vehicle demand."

(As told to Yuthika Bhargava)


5:30 p.m.

Budget just a labyrinth of data: MP CM

Terming the Union Budget “disappointing” and a “labyrinth of data”, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Saturday said it lacked a plan to deal with the economic slowdown and inflation.

Mr. Nath said the budget had nothing for farmers, unemployed youth, the poor and women.


5:20 p.m.

Budget 2020 visionary, transformative, all-inclusive: Nadda

BJP president J.P. Nadda on Saturday hailed the Union Budget as “visionary, futuristic, growth oriented, transformative and all-inclusive” and said it will ensure development of all sections of society.

The Budget gives impetus to fulfilment of aspirations of the middle income groups with focus on home for all by giving subsidy to first time buyers and announcing relaxation in income tax, he said, while noting its emphasis on the development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.


5:05 p.m.

New reforms to boost economy, employment: PM in address to nation on Budget

"New reforms announced in Budget will give push to economy. The Govt. has announced many measures in the Budget to push employment in the country," said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing the nation on the Union Budget 2020-21.

Export and MSME sector drives employment. In the Budget, several new announcements were made to increase exports. Additionally, a new move has been made to make every district an export hub, he said.

National Logistic Policy will benefit trade, business, and employment, Mr. Modi added.

"The target to build 100 airports in India will embolden the will of a general Indian. This infrastructure is very important for Indian tourism," he said.

Removing the dividend distribution tax will give companies ₹25,000 crore which will help them to invest further, he added.

“We trust the citizen of India and there will be no need to audit firms with a turnover of till Rs 5 crore. No CA certification would be needed. The limit was previously at Rs 1 crore," he said.

-- Nistula Hebbar, The Hindu

5:00 p.m.

Industry voices

A farsighted budget, it is commendable that the FM has announced innovative initiatives that will enhance ease of living, improve the health quotient and boost opportunities for education & job creation, for all sections of our society and meet the expectations of an aspirational India, said Apollo Hospitals Group Chairman Prathap C. Reddy.

Amidst global turbulence and nations dealing with bushfires & the coronavirus, Ms. Sitharaman has looked to craft a granular long term strategy to focus on vital issues, said RPG Enterprises Chairman Harsh Goenka.

"Directionally, it is a sound Budget and I am happy to see the government’s focus on reviving economic growth," said Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. The proposed amendments to the Companies Act for removing criminal action in case of tax disputes is a step towards infusing trust among India Inc, he added.

Right areas of thrust for manufacturing - to be part of GVC, attract investment in electronics, focus on quality and facilitate export. Urgent implementation will be key, said Mahindra & Mahindra MD Pawan Goenka.

Optimistic about the government’s support to rural economy towards increasing investment & consumption, said Nissan India Managing Director Rakesh Srivastava.

4:45 p.m.

Budget proves govt. is clueless on revenue and employment generation: Tejashwi Yadav

"The #Budget2020 proves that Govt is clueless on revenue & employment generation, wealth creation & it's distribution!" RJD's Tejashwi Yadav wrote on Twitter.

"Budget will reduce spending power of common man, increase disparity! Subsidies are getting reduced. Farmers & common man equally unhappy with it.

"In this budget there are no words on special package, no new initiatives or projects for Bihar. We anticipated a lot for our state since there is a double engine government at helms. This #Budget2020 is a reflection of discriminatory intent of the Modi government towards Bihar," he added.

4:45 p.m.

Budget to provide unprecedented relief to taxpayers: Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the Union Budget 2020-21 will contribute significantly in fulfilling the Modi government’s resolve to double the income of farmers and provide unprecedented relief to the taxpayers.

In a series of tweets, Mr. Shah also said world-class highways, railways, ports, airports, metros will be built in the country with the allocation of Rs 100 lakh crore.

“In this budget, the Modi government has taken effective steps to rationalise the tax system, boost the basic infrastructure, strengthen the banking system, promote investment and ease of doing business, which will further the Modi government’s resolve to make India a five trillion-dollar economy,” he said.

“I congratulate the prime minister and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for presenting a budget, which will benefit farmers, poor, salaried middle class and business class,” he said.


4.30 p.m.

Mamata expresses shock over selling of Centre’s stake in public institutions

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday expressed shock over the Union Government’s decision to sell its stake in the Life Insurance Corporation ( LIC)  and questioned whether the decision indicated the “end of an era”.

“I am shocked & appalled to see how the Central Government plans to ambush the heritage & legacy of public institutions,” the Chief Minister tweeted, hours after the tabling of the Union Budget in the Parliament. 

“Is it also the end of an era? #LIC #IndianRailways #AirIndia #BSNL”, she added, referring not only to the LIC but also public owned institutions.

-- Shiv Sahay Singh, The Hindu

4.20 p.m.

Chidambaram's reaction on Budget

Mr. Chidambaram said "I am at a loss to understand what was the message intended to be conveyed by Budget 2020-21. I am also not able to recall any memorable idea or statement in the speech."

The former Union Finance Minister said "The govt has given up on reviving the economy or accelerating the growth rate or promoting private investment or increasing efficiency or creating jobs or winning a greater share of world trade.

"I am pretty certain that even the most loyal BJP MP or supporter cannot latch on to any idea or statement in the Budget speech and take it to the people."

He added that "The govt does not really believe in a market economy, competition or higher trade intensity. The CEA must be a very disappointed man."

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4:00 p.m.

No substantial relief visible for telecom sector in Budget: COAI

The crisis-ridden telecom industry on Saturday expressed disappointment at the Budget not spelling out any substantial relief for the ailing sector, which is saddled with Rs 1.47 lakh crore in unpaid statutory dues.

“From what we have seen so far, there appears to be no substantial relief for the telecom sector. Of course, we are waiting to see the details,” Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director General Rajan Mathews told PTI.

Mr. Mathews said that telecom not being included in the definition of infrastructure was a disappointment for the industry.

“The FM has talked about smart meters and Artificial Intelligence, and we will see how that translates into benefit for our sector,” he said.

The telecom industry had been pinning its hopes on the Union Budget to offer some breather on licence fee and SUC levies.


3:30 p.m.

Extension till March 2021 welcome step: LIC Housing Finance

“Extension of time period till March 2021 is a welcome step taken by government in the affordable housing space benefiting both individuals and developers," said Siddhartha Mohanty, MD & CEO, LIC Housing Finance.

"While tax holiday on profits would encourage more builders to take up affordable housing projects, individual can  firm up home buying decision to enjoy the additional tax benefit of Rs.1.50 lacs.  It is a right step towards realising the mission of Housing for All by 2022,” he added.

B.C. Dutta, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Hyundai Motor India Limited, said that the revision in personal income tax will boost car demand. "The automotive industry was expecting announcement on scrappage policy which did not come about," he said.

3:20 p.m.

Step-motherly treatment meted out to Delhi again: Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday alleged that step-motherly treatment has been meted out to Delhi again in the Union Budget.

Mr. Kejriwal took to Twitter to express his disappointment over the Budget for 2020-21, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday, and asked, “When Delhi doesn’t figure in the BJP’s priorities, why should people vote for it?”

“Delhi had high expectations from the Budget, but step-motherly treatment has been meted out to it again,” he posted on the microblogging site in Hindi.

The AAP national convenor also asked that if the BJP was disappointing Delhi before the assembly elections, “will it fulfil its promises after the polls?”


3:00 p.m.

No strategic idea, anything concrete in Union Budget: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said there was no strategic idea or anything concrete in the Union Budget and it described the “hollow” approach of the government that was “all talk“.

Talking to reporters outside Parliament soon after the presentation of the budget, he described the budget as repetitive, saying it does not address the main issue of unemployment confronting the country’s youth.

“The main issue is unemployment. I did not see any concrete, strategic idea that could help our youngsters get jobs. There were redundant things in the budget and I did not see any central idea,” he said.

Mr. Gandhi said the youth of the country knew exactly what is going on. “There are no jobs. Nothing happened here to help you,” he said.


2:50 p.m.

Budget provides no plan of recovery from economic slowdown: Yechury

"This is the longest non-budget, budget speech. Nirmala Sitharaman is perhaps the only Finance Minister who was asked to lay down her speech to let the members go for lunch," said CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury.

"And this is when she didn't give details of the revenue earned by government and its expenditure plans," he said.

"No plan of recovery from economic slowdown; complete state of denial, no roadmap to overcome basic causes of economic slowdown," he added.

-- Sobhana K. Nair, The Hindu

2:30 p.m.

Govt. removes incentives to ‘save’ in nation with no social security: TMC on Budget

The Trinamool Congress on Saturday slammed the Union Budget over removal of tax exemptions and questioned such a move in a country with no social security. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced new slabs and reduced the tax rate for different slabs for an individual income of up to Rs 15 lakh per annum, if a taxpayer opts for foregoing exemptions and deductions.

“Tax cut ki goli mat do (don’t lie about tax cuts). Read the fine print on the so-called IT cuts. Govt removes incentives to ‘save’ in a nation where there is no social security,” TMC’s national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’ Brien tweeted.

He said “70/100 tax exemptions withdrawn. Exemptions were given as incentive to save money in PPF, LIC, Health insurance etc”.


2:15 p.m.

Cong. slams budget as ‘insipid’ and lacking in stimulus for growth

Calling the Union budget “insipid” and lacking in stimulus for growth, the Congress on Saturday said the government’s annual financial statement comprises piecemeal measures, repackaged schemes, jugglery of tax slabs and has no real solutions to solve the economic crisis. Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said that at a time when India is in the midst of an economic downturn, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget speech focuses more on praising the prime minister rather than helping the common citizen.

“Longest Budget speech is also the most lacklustre budget ever. After Acche Din, New India, it now appears that the government has also abandoned the target of USD 5 trillion economy,” Mr. Patel said in a series of tweets.




Pranay Bhatia, Partner & Leader/ Tax & Regulatory Services, BDO India says: “By reducing GST on household consumption items, families have benefited and they have to incur less expenses for essentials. Announcement of various initiatives for warehousing and transport, will certainly boost the ground-root economy leading to an overall positive push.”

Gunjan Prabhakaran, Partner/ Indirect Tax, BDO India, says "E-way bill mechanism is a great respite and has resulted in improving turnaround time drastically for the logistics industry as a whole.”



“Prepaid smart metering and freedom to choose power supplier will lay the ground to bring competition in the power sector and give consumers a choice,“ says Santosh Kamath, Partner and Leader, Alternate Energies, KPMG in India.




“The Finance Minister stays committed to beat critics by announcing a digital refunds of duties and taxes to exporters. This will go a long way in swaying India to be an export oriented economy and will massively tilt the balance of foreign exchange favorably,” says Anil Talreja, Partner, Deloitte India




"We welcome the moves proposed by the government to introduce special measures for perishable goods in Budget 2020. Measures like adding refrigerated coach in trains for transportation of perishable goods like milk, meat and fish will be a game changer for the meat retailer industry. Also, the government's steps to boost fish production to 200 lakh tonnes by 2022-2023 is going to bring about a cheer to the marine farmers. Skill development fund allocation by the government for the youth in the rural sector to provide jobs in the fisheries segment are the steps that were required to boost the meat and seafood retail, as well as enhance the rural sentiments and provide more opportunities for growth. Seamless national cold supply chain for perishables through PPP Model for swift transportation on national and international routes is a welcome change to cater to the demands of the domestic as well as global markets,”  says Nishanth Chandran, Founder & CEO, TenderCuts



Mr. Aksh Vashisth, Analyst- Chemicals, IndiaNivesh says, "Focus on promoting traditional organic and other innovative fertilizer with a view to change incentive regime which promotes the use of chemical fertilizers. This comes in after the govt. stressed on zero budget farming in the previous budget. Negative for fertilizer companies as zero-budget farming significantly cuts down on agri-input consumption. However, the concept is still in the nascent stage as the lack of use of chemical inputs results in lower yield an production. The concept is being pioneered in AP and has received mixed reviews from farmers."




Mekhla Anand, Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, says "The increase in GST collections is indeed heartening. It can only be hoped that this is not a short term spike based on the aggressive focus on GST recoveries but a trend that remains consistent in the months to come and signals an economy in recovery."


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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 12:09:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/union-budget-2020-reactions/article30709905.ece

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