the last full budget of Team NAMO has proved to the world that this is just a Performance Development Review of the Government of India (GOI). During this exercise, the GOI like all of us pens down their achievements and further goes on to reveal, in explicit terms, the way forward for the country in the coming year. After hearing the budget speech and reading the documents, one can say that this government does not need a particular day to announce big bang reforms for the economy.
In all budgets presented including the recent one, the tone has been the same and the emphasis has always been to revive growth in the rural economy, welfare measures for the lower and middle class, improve the quality of education, create job opportunities, infrastructure development, which they believe is the growth driver of the economy, and of course to maintain fiscal prudence. The numbers presented in the budget in terms of growth in direct taxes and increase in the tax payer base means that the government’s mission to crack down on the parallel economy, an aim which was put in the BJP Manifesto in 2014 (“By minimizing the scope for corruption, we will ensure minimization of the generation of black money”) is leading to the right results. The world is talking about crypto currencies but team Jaitley has made it clear that the GOI does not consider them as legal tender or coin and hence it is advisable for our investors to stay away from them. The government’s emphasis on strengthening the bond market means that corporates will have other avenues open to borrow and need not depend solely on banks that are already stressed on account of huge NPAs.