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BW Businessworld

'Infrastructure Would Supposedly Would Benefit'

Som Mittal, Former President, Nasscom spoke to us about the budget meeting the pre-budget expectations

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Som Mittal said, "No, I think the pre-budget expectations were large, the budget which Jaitley announced on Wednesday (02 February) would not be able to stimulate private investment. Also, there was a tremendous expectations on change in the corporate taxes which went undelivered. And another big disappointment, is the data which the FM claims to have collected during or post demonetization, has not been acted upon. There should have been a sense of urgency that the people who have not been included in the tax slab or at least there should be some measure suggesting their actions. I am also disappointed that they continue use surcharge, as a means to keep increasing taxation, whereas there promise was that they would not use surcharge to mop up funds. Since two years since the oil-prices fell, the government has been increasing excise duties, and they have not let the benefit pass on to the oil companies and now that the oil- prices have fumed up, it is becoming terribly difficult for them."

He went on to speak about the omissions in the budget, such as, "The FM didn't mention how is he going to cut or reduce the government expenditure, or create more jobs in a more sustainable manner. This budget is more about throwing more freebies and tolls and subsidies. There are funding schemes to be implemented but it all sounds good right now, but the results would be coming out in 4-5 years."

On being inquired, 'How he would rate this budget on a scale of 1-10', he said, "I would rate this budget as a 6 because this budget was the last opportunity for the government to call it a show before the elections, and the next one also would be a populist one, though they have taken some bold steps like demonetization, but not making an impact in the whole system."

He also explicitly mentioned which sectors would be highly benefitted from this budget and stated, "The road network, highways, construction and infra would supposedly would benefit, however the spending in railways was not very clear on what facilities would be provided or where the fund will be utilized. There were some positive mentions about electronic manufacturing. Overall, this budget was vague for the corporate sector."