The Finance Minister has pressed all the right levers to take the Indian economy to the next level. It focusses on growth, weaker sections and social security. It is fiscally responsible, and at the same time has found the revenues for investments in infrastructure of Rs. 70,000 crores. It is heartening that the government is preparing the roadmap for constructing six Crore houses and financing one lac kilometre of roads, all ambitious plans for the future.
There are concerns that the fiscal deficit reduction is not as per schedule and the RBI may have to slow down the rate easing cycle, but this is not a correct assessment. Because it is important to note that the spending is going into infrastructure, not subsidies and consumption. Again, the only benefits to the tax payers are focussed on long term savings in the form of PPF and NPS, not for consumption. Hence the quality of deficit is improving substantially, which the RBI will take note of favourably, hence I feel the rate reduction will stay on schedule over the rest of the year.
The focus on black money is commendable. I was delighted to hear the proposal to incentivise the use of Rupay, debit and credit cards as I have been campaigning for this proposal at the Gyan Sangam as well as other forums as a way of making a digital India. Adding spends as part of 80C will be most welcome.
Most of all, this budget focuses on simplicity of ease of doing business. The drive to remove exemptions and reduce the corporate tax rates accordingly, and removing wealth tax and replacing with a surcharge are examples.
Overall, it was a great budget for its simplicity, clarity, and direction.