Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday increased the tax on petrol and diesel raised import duty on gold, levied an additional surcharge on super rich and brought a tax on high-value cash withdrawals as she sought to spur growth with a reduction in corporate tax and sops to the housing sector, startups and electric vehicles.
Presenting the maiden budget of Modi 2.0 government in Lok Sabha, Sitharaman, the first full-time woman Finance Minister, proposed measures to ease liquidity crisis facing shadow banking sector (NBFCs) and providing Rs 70,000 crore capital to public sector banks while seeking to raise additional resources through privatisation of some PSUs.
In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Rathin Roy, member of PMEAC; Arvind Panagariya, former VC of NITI Aayog and Manish Chokhani, director of Enam Holdings, shared their views and readings on budget 2019.
Roy said, "It is a prudent budget and I am very happy about. The first fiduciary duty of the government is to make sure that it keeps its promises with respect to its overall borrowing targets and this budget has stuck to the fiscal deficit target of 3.4 percent. It promises to reduce the fiscal deficit, in fact, slightly more to 3.3 percent and that is good. The budget also is different from previous budgets in the sense that it is not a communist budget."
Panagariya said, "I am pleased that the finance minister held on to the fiscal discipline. Quality of expenditure has been maintained so very substantial allocations for infrastructure which is very good news. I think it is the list of reforms in the budget which probably has not been talked about quite as much as it deserves to be talked about."
Chokhani said, "The main concern that the market was looking was where will the revenues come to kick start this whole investment cycle. The budget has quite clearly made a bet on that we will attract capital from overseas. Now whether by way of getting the sovereign bond issue out, whether by way of opening up the debt markets to come into direct debt instruments or to REITS or InvITs and so on."