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India budget pragmatic but non-populist: NRIs  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 18/03/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Indian budget, regardless of its implications on overseas Indians' lives, is invariably a cause of celebration for the Gulf-based NRIs.

Siddharth Balachandran
Managing director of Bumga Group

The Finance Minister has done a good job of tightrope walking between a populist budget and an ideal budget, considering the pressure faced by the central government. The affordable housing market will also get a boost with the real estate developers being allowed to borrow overseas, which will decrease the interest costs. From an NRI point of view, a major relief is the deferring of the implementation of the direct Tax code.
Dr J.R. Gangaramani
Chairman of Al Fara'a Group

This is a difficult economic year and the finance minister has done his best to balance growth perspective with the social perspective. This year's budget fell far short of industry's expectations and no path breaking reforms nor major new policies were announced. The setting of investment target for infrastructure at 1 trillion and opening up this sector for foreign investments is a very positive move. The budget is a very pragmatic although the fiscal deficit is on the higher side. The proposal of two per cent cap on subsidy is a step in the right direction.
Shyam Bhatia
Chairman of Alam Steel Ltd

The budget proposals are quite bold in addressing a gaping public deficit, targeting higher economic growth and in capping on expensive subsidies. I feel, it is going to be tough for the business community to compete in the world market with current interest rates. Same time government is in fix with high oil prices, so they have to balance.
Y. Sudhir Kumar Shetty
COO (Global Operations), UAE Exchange

'I must be cruel only to be kind' the Finance Minister has quoted Shakespeare from Hamlet and the budget generally was in line with this. The emphasis given to public-private partnership, basic infrastructure development, disinvestment and support of state-owned enterprises, banking sector developments, and agriculture areas would be welcomed by the people. While emphasis is given on new taxation avenues, especially with regard to goods and services, no immediate steps suggested on curbing black money and inflation, except for the promise of a white paper.
Sudesh Aggarwal

President of the Indian Business Leaders Forum (IBLF)

The budget proposals are inflationary and will affect growth. The common man will get adversely affected due to the increase in the indirect taxation - such as increase in the excise duty and also increase in the service tax. The government should have focused more on widening the tax base and bringing more people on the tax net through effective management than increasing the tax at this juncture.
Kamal Vachani
Director of Almaya Group

The proposal to raise individual tax limit is a welcome move. The budget proposals are pragmatic and seek to reduce subsidies, accelerate reforms and hike state asset sales and boost infrastructure spending. By proposing reduction in subsidies and seeking to bring deficit the budget pledges reforms. It is neither populist nor reformist, but sets only modest targets for trimming a ballooning fiscal deficit. There has been no change in corporate taxes in the budget, which proposes measures to enable them better access funds.
Jitendra Gianchandani
Chairman, Jitendra Consulting Group

A status-quo budget. Seems to have followed up the principle of no-action management. Deficit estimate of 5.9 per cent is disappointing and achieving 5.1 per cent next year will be challenge. It it fails, foreign investors will write off India. Overseas offshore transfer of assets of companies in India will be taxed retrospective (since1962) is unjustified and shocking. Budget is Inflationary-Growth-Inclusive and winners are aviation, coal, infrastructure industries and looser is service industry. Qualified Foreign Investors or QFI will be happy as they can access Indian corporates in debt market.
S. Venkatesh
Chairman, Dubai Chapter of ICAI

It is more of balanced and realistic budget rather than any reforms oriented or populist budget given the political and other compulsions Finance Minister try to do balancing act. This is not a game-changer budget. The deferment of Direct Tax Code is temporary good news for NRIs. Two increase of excise duty and service tax will impact in increase of prices and affect the inflation. TDS on sale of immovable property will impact NRI's.
Raju Menon
Group managing partner, Morison Menon

It is a silent and pragmatic budget given importance to agricultural growth, food security, education, rural health and infrastructure. We will view more long-term results from this budget provided the spending on those sectors continuously allocated in following years also. As service tax net is widened to include almost all services and by increasing the rate, the indirect hit from service tax to the common man and corporate is unimaginably high.
James Mathew
Managing director, Horwath MAK

The finance Minister has presented a realistic and achievable budget at the Parliament today. He believes in under promising and over delivering rather than over promising and under delivering as in the case of 2011-12 budgets. Guidelines to curb black money, compulsory reporting of assets held abroad and authority given to IT authorities to reopen the assessments cases up to 16 years in relation to assets held abroad are initiatives in the right direction.
Navin Kapoor
Managing director, Xpertize United

A lackluster budget for common man. The increase in income tax exemption limit by Rs20,000 to two lakhs is insignificant against a parliamentary panel recommendation to increase the limit to Rs3 lakhs. The increase in excise duty and service tax will hurt common man. The increase in infrastructure spending will spur. The deferment of DTC till 2013 is welcome news for NRIs but it should not come in its current form even next year. In short, a budget, which is non-populist and development-oriented.
K.V Shamsudheen
Director, Barjeel Geojit Securities

The budget disappointed NRIs who were expecting some special rehabilitation scheme for low and middle income NRIs and a streamlining of investment procedures by removing complexity. However, I appreciate FM for his support to capital market by introducing Rajeev Gandhi Equity scheme and tax exemption for small investors. The proposal to increase agriculture credit and interest subsidy for farmers will be a boost to agriculture sector. Increase the allocation for infrastructure, education and health segments will help for the total development.
Sajith Kumar PK
Director and CEO, JRG International Brokerage

The budget focused more on economical stability by tightening policies and a growth recovery by increasing domestic demands. There is an attempt to strengthen the investment environment by allowing FDI in multi-branded retail up to 51 per cent and allowing Qualified Foreign Investors to invest in corporate bond market. Reducing 20 per cent in Securities Transaction Tax on equity related transactions and implementing Rajiv Ghandi Equity Scheme for new retail investors, allowing an income tax deduction of 50 per cent are supportive to the investors. Doubling of custom duty on refined gold will push gold price higher in the domestic market.

Group CEO of Doha Bank,

The budget is aiming to reinforce growth in the Indian economy which has come down in 2012 due to high inflation. The exemptions on direct tax provide only marginal relief to the common man however no changes in corporate tax provide some relief to corporates who are already fighting the slowdown in economy and high borrowing costs. Overall the budget aims to reinforce growth but whether will it moderate inflation is something which we need to wait and see.
Bhavna Doshi
President of Indian Merchant Chamber

The Indian Merchants' Chamber has extended a cautious welcome to the budget proposals. The finance minister has made an honest attempt to tie up the various loose ends of the country's finances, which were being ravaged by the combined impact of inflation in India and recession in the Western countries. Announcement of GST Network becoming functional from August 2012 is a welcome step.
R. Shankar Raman
Chief financial officer of Larsen & Toubro

The budget for fiscal year 2012-13 was presented amidst the expectations of measures to revive the growth engines of the economy. While attempting to improve the disappointing fiscal deficit situation, the budget has introduced meassures such as increase in excise duty and service tax which are bound to be inflationary. Bold reforms in the area of labour, taxation etc would have provided a more sustainable cheer to the capital markets.
Akshay Gupta
Managing director and CEO, Peerless Mutual Fund

The budget trajectory is headed in the right direction. Despite baby steps, the fiscal consolidation exercise is positive for country's finances. A good announcement on power, infrastructure, agriculture and cap on subsidies is positive. Increase in excise and service taxes and lower than expected targets on disinvestment will lead to continuity on a high-inflationary and higher interest rate regime. There is no indication GST and DTC roll-out, which was largely expected, is surprising."
Amitabh Chaudhry
Managing director and CEO, HDFC Life

The good news in the budget is there's no bad news. It's a realistic budget and the fiscal arithmetic behind it seems credible. Fiscal deficit target at 5.1 per cent wasn't a surprise and there's a welcome move towards fiscal consolidation. The proposal to exempt tax on sale of property if invested in SME is another interesting attempt to push investments into productive assets. Overall, I think the budget reflects the pragmatism of the man who presented it.''


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