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Arun Jaitley’s budget 2015 gets a thumbs up from India Inc

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India Inc today cheered the road map for lowering corporate taxation, abolition of wealth tax and steps to check black money menace, while calling the Union Budget a “visionary” document.

Here are top reactions:

RAHUL BAJAJ, CHAIRMAN, BAJAJ GROUP
“Although no budget can be perfect, this is a very positive one. The reduction in corporate tax from 30% to 25% over a four years period is very appreaciable. Prima facie I can say, in this budget whatever is done is very good.”

BHASKAR PRAMANIK, CHAIRMAN, MICROSOFT INDIA
“The Finance Minister has presented a broad-based Budget focused on accelerating India’s inclusive growth. The Budget reiterates the major programmes and initiatives that have been previously announced – Jan Dhan Yojana, Skill India, Swach Bharat, Make in India and Digital India.

The Budget retains the focus on financial inclusion, education, health and agriculture. It has increased focused on infrastructure development, housing and manufacturing in India. Overall, Budget 2015 is wide in its scope and takes into account the interests of diverse sections of society – middle class, farmers, youth, aged and the disabled. It endorses a vision of India where there is a house for every family with24 hour power, potable water, and all accessible by road, and where at least one member of the family is employed. And all by 2023, when India celebrates its 75th year of Independence. The FM also talked about building a better social security system for its citizens to provide financial security.

N CHANDRASEKARAN, CEO & MD, TCS
“The FM has delivered a bold, far sighted budget that will help raise the country’s profile as an investment destination. It aims to make structural changes that will help drive higher corporate investment on a sustainable basis. These include the commitment to simplification and rationalization of the taxation structure and setting a clear roadmap of reform for the next four years. However, the short term impact arising out of increase in surcharge and service tax are matter of concern.

The move to encourage use of financial products and services among a larger proportion of the population as well as the efforts towards monetization of gold are great building block to build a vibrant and deep financial services sector. The government’s moves to encourage fund managers to relocate to India will also drive greater integration of the India into the global financial services economy.”

JAGDISH KHATTAR, EX-MD JAGDISH KHATTAR, EX-MD MARUTI SUZUKI
“This year the entire perception towards general budget has changed. Earlier, everyone used think mostly about what they will get directly out of budget. But now we think like if the budget is for betterment of the entire economy, it will be automatically become beneficial for my sector too.”

VICE CHAIRMAN AND MD, BHARTI EXTERPRISES, RAJAN BHARTI MITTAL
I think it is a balanced budget. I feel the Finance Minister has tried to simplify a lot of things like laying a road map for corporate taxation. He has also taken wealth tax off the table. So, I think the Budget has led to ease of doing business in the country.”

CII PRESIDENT, AJAY SHRIRAM
“It is a positive and growth-oriented budget and we think it will give a kickstart to the philosophy the Finance
Minister laid down of economic growth and job creation. We really appreciate the strong focus on curbing black money in terms of ensuring that wealth outside has to be declared, it has to become an integral part of the Indian economy.”

FICCI PRESIDENT JYOTSNA SURI

“We were certain that will be getting a visionary budget and that is how it has been. He (Arun Jaitley) has laid a very clear roadmap and the roadmap is showing movement upwards for development of economy as well as the growth of GDP. He has done some very good moves one of them being reduction in corporate tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent.”

SHUBHADA RAO, CHIEF ECONOMIST, YES BANK, MUMBAI
“We are positive on the market borrowing program, the net borrowing is in alignment with market expectations. The government is looking to raise revenue through additional resources, which could be gold bonds.

“I think, overall, there are significant amount of growth multipliers embedded in the budget announcements through a sharper focus on expenditure.

ABHEEK BARUA, CHIEF ECONOMIST, HDFC BANK, NEW DELHI
“I think this (higher fiscal deficit) was on the cards because the government had been making a case for public investment.

“I think this is a very sensible policy, given the fact that a lot of things are crimping the fiscal space available to the centre. And I hope and wish the rating agencies and the investor community in general, understand the rationale behind this.

A PRASANNA, ECONOMIST, ICICI SECURITIES PRIMARY DEALERSHIP LTD, MUMBAI
“This budget will be a good test case whether fiscal stimulus works or not.

“If growth picks up more than what is being anticipated by the government, then we can conclude that investment-led growth helps growth. But it is disappointing that fiscal deficit targets have been reworked, and it remains to be seen how successful the government will be in implementing that.”

UPSTAND BHARDWAJ, ECONOMIST, ING VYSYA BANK, MUMBAI
“The Budget seems to be more credible, with a higher fiscal deficit target and higher allocation for infrastructure.

“Clarity in taxation structure will provide more stability ahead. The expenditure switching towards more productive areas is a big boost for growth.”

NILAYA VAR, HEAD OF GOVERNMENT SERVICES, KPMG INDIA
“Although possibly controversial and against economist expectations, the pushing out of meeting the fiscal deficit target by a year shows pragmatism in bringing in additional public investments for infrastructure development, compensating (for) lack of private investment and showing seriousness on improving overall infrastructure.”

ANANTH NARAYAN, REGIONAL HEAD OF GLOBAL MARKETS – SOUTH ASIA, STANDARD CHARTERED, MUMBAI
“Markets were expecting a fiscal deficit target of 3.6 percent to be met in 2015/16, so the 3.9 percent number will be negative for the markets as an initial reaction on Monday.

“Also markets were not expecting the government to extend the fiscal consolidation roadmap by one year, and we were expecting fiscal deficit target of 3 percent of GDP to be met in 2016/17. But we have to see how this additional money coming out of the higher fiscal deficit will be spent.”

NITIN JAIN, CEO OF RETAIL CAPITAL MARKETS AND GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT, EDELWEISS, MUMBAI
“I would rate the budget a 7 and a half on a scale of 10! Though it is a fairly well balance budget, the market expectations were really sky rocketing before this day. So I would not be surprised to see a market correction of maybe 5-6 percent.

“It is not close to the ‘Visionary document’ that people have been talking about. Overall, I would still say it is well balanced one.

ABHEEK BARUA, CHIEF ECONOMIST, HDFC BANK, NEW DELHI
“I think there’s been endless controversy for corporates over the absence of a consolidated FII (foreign institutional investor) limit.

“I think it’s just making the process of investing in India and Indian companies that much easier. It is still very much a part of the larger scheme of making India an attractive destination and introducing transparency.


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