The Budget presented by the FM was expected to be highly populist in nature, but on the contrary it has turned out to be broadly one, that is expected to push for higher growth.
The FM quoted Swami Vivekananda to indicate that it is within us to make ourselves a great financial power. He has indicated that India will be a $5 trillion economy by 2015 and also probably among the top 5 economies.
On a broad scale the major sectors which have been given importance are agriculture, infrastructure, education, women and women empowerment and health.
It is a good indication that these are the core things that make a country great and the finance minister has given importance to the same.
Sustained growth comes with the ill effects of pollution. The FM has given equal importance to environment protection and enabling companies to spend on machinery to reduce their effect on the environment.
He has also spoken of spending huge amounts on clean water which will go a long way in helping rural households to have a better lifestyle.
The other major impetus seems to be on SMEs and entrepreneurship – plans to support the sector by giving financial incentives and also creating better systems will go a long way in boosting the economy.
Food shortage is a major concern and this has been reflected in the attention given to the same by the FM in his budget. There is a collective disappointment in the fact that nothing has been changed on the income tax slabs as expected.
Of course, the super rich will be having a higher burden on luxury purchases like yachts, cars and bikes.
Rural growth continues to be given importance – The increased spending on MNREGA and the Rural Housing schemes is commendable.
A big challenge that India faces is lack of skilled labour. The FM has announced various incentives for training courses for skill development and also an Rs 10000 cash benefit for getting a skill certificate.
This will generate more human resources as well as motivate more self employed professionals in skills like plumbing, welding etc.
Overall the first opinion about the budget is nothing much has changed for the “common man” and the opposition parties can heave a sigh of relief that it is not populist in nature considering the next year is election year.
A more in depth analysis is needed to check the exact impact on each segment. But overall the core has been kept in mind. India becoming the 5th biggest economy and a $5 trillion economy seems to be the new mantra.