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Smart Money: Key aspects to watch out for in Union Budget 2021

Updated : January 29, 2021 07:11 PM IST

With the Union Budget 2021 upon us, CNBC-TV18's special show Smart Money, demystifies the budget document and decodes the key things to look forward to in the Budget this time around.

In an interview to Sonia Shenoy, Gautam Duggad, head of research- institutional equities at Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said the defining theme of this year's Budget is likely to be reviving growth with a very limited fiscal support.

He said, "75 percent of the government's expenditure is pre-committed. So government has a very limited fiscal room to manoeuvre. Within that limited room what do they prioritise - do they prioritise infrastructure, consumption or do they prioritise rural spending? At the same time you also have to keep an eye on how do they take care of the vaccination cost."

"Then you have lot of people, MSMEs, small businesses which have suffered because of the pandemic, some of them have lost their jobs, so the government will want to provide some relief to that segment as well. So it is a combination of things - infrastructure, real estate, consumption and how do you fund all of this and also maintain the positive sentiment which has been there in the economy for the last 4-5 months."

Speaking on key announcements to watch out for in the Budget, he said, "One of the key announcements to watch for will be what does the government do on taxation. One concern is around COVID cess or surcharge and that is quite fearful because it will dampen the consumer sentiment which has revived after a long time. Second announcement to look for is roadmap for divestment. There are big divestments which are lined-up - BPCL, LIC, Air India. If some of those materialise, government will find less pressure to raise money through taxation."

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