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Partha Iyengar, Country Manager – Research, India.
The big overarching focus on growth by the FM is the fundamental ‘feel good’ factor in this budget. Given the fact that one can argue that a lot of the weakness in the Indian economy is what I call a ‘sentimental recession’, his strong statement that there is no grounds for ‘doom and gloom’ heading into the new year. The big specific positives of the budget are that he has focused both in terms of the letter and spirit of the budget on the key planks of growth for India and health of every industry, including IT, which is Infrastructure, Education, Skills Development, and incentives for the growth of domestic manufacturing. Some of the other positive areas are support for entrepreneurship, the MSME sector, both in terms of financial and overall support. The recognition that the overseas ‘trust deficit’ in terms of a comfort level on India’s investment climate has to be addressed is also welcome.
HOWEVER, the budget is only a directional statement, and the challenge for India historically and even currently is in the execution of the statement of intent outlined in the budget. This has been India’s Achilles’ heel, in that bold pronouncements in the budget never see the light of day or are not implemented as effectively as they can or should be. So it was disappointing to not see any statements on what the government would do to ensure mechanisms/oversight to ensure speedy and efficient implementation of these programs.
Overall a 7/10 score for the budget.