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'A comprehensive and investor-friendly Budget'

Last updated on: February 28, 2013 18:00 IST
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Dr Sanjaya BaruDr Sanjaya Baru is one of India's most respected commentators on political and economic issues.

From May 2004 until August 2008, he was the official spokesman and media advisor to the prime minister of India.

His research work spans a wide range of areas, including Indian industrial, fiscal and trade policies and the regional aspects of India's development, with a focus on emergence of first generation business enterprise.

He has had long stints in both academia and the media, where his last designation was editor, The Business Standard.

Dr Baru answered our readers' questions on the Union Budget on February 28.

Here is the transcript:

Dr Sanjaya Baru says, Hello. This is Sanjaya Baru. I am here to answer your questions on the Indian Union Budget, 2013-14

vitla asked, what r the good points in budget?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers,  at 2013-02-28 16:29:11most importantly, it restores stability to policy making and to fiscal stabilisation. The finance minister has been able to retain focus on developmental expenditures without too much tax mobilisation. The taxes he has raised are mainly from the rich and the 'super rich'.

ashok asked, Hello Dr. Baru What is the impact of this Budget on Excise duty on Textile Machines & Subsidy on excise duty for Jute Machines.
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, I have not seen any reference to jute, but there are incentives in the budget for textiles industry

KK asked, @sanjeev: the cap raise on home loan is applicable only for those who meet eligibility criteria. 1. This should be the 1st home. 2. Loan amount should be less than 25L
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, you are right.

Kareena asked, Sir, why has the finance miniser presented such a lame budget?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, I do not know what you mean by 'lame'? please explain and then I can respond

arun asked, what does "First home loan of up to Rs 25 lakh to get extra interest deduction of up to Rs 1 lakh" exactly is above 25 lacs or below 25lacs
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, this means in case you are taking a loan for building or buying a home/ flat for the FIRST time, and the loan amount is less than Rs 25 lakhs you can get tax deduction for the interest paid.

princess asked, What do you think is the big idea behind this Budget? To me it seemed like a Diwali damp squib
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, I think the big idea was to return to a path of fiscal stabilisation, reduce the fiscal deficit, and encourage investments. There are some incentives for savings and several for investment.

princess asked, Can we expect you to be as forthright in your views on the Budget as Mr Dinesh Trivedi, who was in this chatroom a little while ago, was?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, Mr Trivedi is a politician. I am not. He may be forthright, but I will be factual!

sukesh asked, How is the Infrastructure / power generation companies will benefit from this budget ?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, there are several incentives here for power generation companies, especially the proposal to allow PPP with Coal India for coal mining. This should benefit power companies

ranga asked, In what way the budget addresses the youth population ?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, If the budget's policies can increase investment and employment, that will benefit the youth. The investments in skill development will also benefit young people who wish to acquire employable skills

nitesh asked, Sir do you think, all parties should join their hand in growth of country,think about common people,farmers(out of politics)
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, that is not possible in a democracy. Parties in the opposition have every right to criticise the government and oppose its policies. that is their democratic right. but, on many issues it is possible for them to support the government if both agree on those issues. it is common even in democracies for bipartisan consensus on major issues of national importance.

princess asked, Hello Dr Baru. How ironical that in the 100th year of Indian films, the Budget does not doff a hat to the industry. The finance minister only quotes arcane Tamil poetry, and is woefully out of step with the times, it seems. Your views please?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, it would be interesting to know from you what you feel he should have done for the film industry!

arup asked,  Hello Sir, I have taken Home loan on NOv-12 for 17Lacs. This is my first home loan. Can I get the deduction ??? please ans sir.
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, YES

arup asked,  Hello Sir, I have taken Home loan on NOv-12 for 17Lacs. This is my first home loan. Can I get the deduction ??? please ans sir.
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, YES

Optimistic asked, Will the tax holiday for the power generation companies include the Wind power companies? Is there a chance to bring back the incentive scheme for the Wind power companies?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, YES, that is my understanding

Vicky007 asked, How will the 10% surcharge on 1 cr+ income calculated? I mean, will it be on income above 1 cr only or the entire amount? Thanks
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, On the entire amount

Saroj asked, Why there was no changes to the Tax slabs ? Also there is no increase in the limit of Tax Exemption under 80C, does not the finance minister seem slow in implementing these ?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, I think the FM said in his speech that he wanted to ensure policy stability and since only last year some changes were announced, he did not want to make any changes again this year.

abbinenikiran asked, any info abt excise limit for Small Scale units? we were hoping of increasing the limit from existing 1.5Cr to 3 Cr
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, this has not been done, but some new incentives have been extended to M&SMEs

Badri asked, Why Large Farmers are remain untouched. Are they not capable to pay tax ?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, This is a good question. No political party has had the courage to tax rich farmers. In fact, many who get their income from non-farm business show that income as being farm income and escape tax. There should be some form of income tax on rich farmers.

raje asked, what is the meaning of Relief of Rs 2,000 for tax payers in tax bracket of Rs 2-5 lakh
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, I have answered this question. please see earlier chat. This means, for those in this income bracket, you can deduct Rs2000 from whatever tax you are required to pay.

Jose asked, is there any tax exemption on Gold, Silver or Bronze?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, NO

Aditya asked, What are the negative points in this budget, except that it does not aoffer any relief to the salaried class.
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, I think the main negative point is that there is still a lot of wasteful spending by government.

Madan asked, If you dont spend your Military Budget this year whats the likely chance you spend it next year
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, That is a good question. In fact, in the past few years the defence ministry has NOT been able to spend what was allocated. so this year the finance minister has allocated less

raje asked, Why am i not getting an answer for the same. Plz infrom. what is the meaning of Relief of Rs 2,000 for tax payers in tax bracket of Rs 2-5 lakh
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, I have answered this question

Jose asked, Any benefits for NRI's in the budget?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, I cannot recall any specific proposals for NRIs.

thirtyfive asked, I am not a minority, I am not a female, I am not a businessman, I am not a politician, I am not a government servant. Is there anything for me in this budget which makes me smile?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, Sir, if the budget's policies can step up the growth rate of the economy, increase investments and reduce inflation, you would also be better off!!!

Qatar asked, What impact will this budget have on the Sensex/Nifty
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, well, initially the sensex has been down. but when investors analyse the budget closely they will find many things there to boost sentiment once again!

np asked, Sir, I have taken loan in 2004 & already paid. I am Planning to buy a second hame in anather city with home loan. Will I get a 1 lac tex benifit.
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, NO. this facility is not available for second home, even if in another city. You are a tax payer in one country!!

viz asked, Is there a provision for building indigenous defense requirement or new factories putting up by govt. in ppp rather than depending on Russia and other developed countries.
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, This is a very good suggestion. We must develop our own defence industry, instead of depending on imports. I hope the government promotes such a policy soon.

mlgarg asked, mlgarg,what benefit has been given to salaried persons.
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, the main benefit is for those in the 2 to 5 lakh income range. For others the main benefit would come if rate of inflation can be brought down

Jose asked, is there any changes on the income tax??
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, no changes in rates. but there is a Rs2000 tax credit for incomes in the first tax bracket and a 10% surcharge for those with income more than Rs1 crore per year

vikram asked, How does this Budget aiming at lowering impact of european debt crisis on India ?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, Well, if the Indian economy can revive growth based on its own domestic market, it can reduce its dependence on external markets!

princess1 asked, Do you ever see a finance minister going with a tax net after his own tribe -- the politicians -- for their declared and undeclared wealth, with the same alacrity that he shows for taxing the salaried classes?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, a 'politician' is not a separate income category. all of them have to pay tax if their income falls into the existing tax brackets

Aditya asked,  I have taken a Housing loan of rs 30 lakh recently. will the exemption limit not be raised for my loan also.
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, NO, I dont think so

ankushsher asked, Will this Budget be able to reduce the current fiscal deficit from 5.2% to 4.8% as stated by the Finance Minister?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, that is his intention. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating! He will now have to walk the talk!

Madan asked, Does the Budget give scope to curtail inflation and bring down high interest Rates
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, yes. by trying to reduce the fiscal deficit the finance RBI to reduce the fiscal deficit

taxmore asked, why Chidambaram did not make provisions for the food security bill in the Budget ?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, he has. He has allocated an additional 10,000 crore, above the existing food subsidy. he has said so.

Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, NO!! None at all.

Jose asked, any changes on the Fixed Deposit interest rates?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, No. not in the budget

deepaknikose asked, Sir FM mentioned about auctione for 839 fm radios will be in fy14,does that mean that licences will be provided by that year itself?
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, Yes, but the licensing process is handled by I&B ministry

ajab.gajab asked, Hi Sanjaya, I took a home loan for exact 25L in 2010. This is my my first home. Am I eligible for additional 1L exemption. I think I read it is only for those who will buy the house between 1-Apr-2013 to 31-Mar-2014.
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, yes, you are right. the benefit is prospective. not retrospective.

Ritesh asked, Any benefits for NE region in the budget
Dr Sanjaya Baru answers, there are some important incentives for NE region, especially for new investment in infrastructure. The FM has said India will be getting loan from ADB and World Bank to build better road connectivity to south east Asia. this will benefit the region

Dr Sanjaya Baru says, Thank you for your questions. I have to go now. best wishes

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