The Union Budget for 2013-14 delivered the promise of fiscal consolidation projecting a fiscal deficit at 4.8 per cent of GDP for the next fiscal year, whilst managing the fiscal deficit for the current year within the revised projection at 5.2 per cent.
Plan expenditure has gone up significantly and list of services exempt from taxes has been pruned to raise revenues. It is heartening to see a focus on infrastructure and a fall in the subsidy burden.
There were no significant announcements from the equity markets perspective or indeed for the revival of the mutual fund industry. We believe that, given the current environment "no news is good news" and the budget manages to do that well.
Puneet Chaddha is CEO, HSBC Global Asset Management, India