Finance Minister Chidambaram's Union Budget 2013-14, which was presented in Parliament on Thursday, evoked both praises and scorns with Indian entrepreneurs expressing their satisfaction while the lawmakers are far from appreciative.
Most corporate heads from India described Chidambaram's Union Budget as a balanced one and praised it for focusing on infrastructural development which could help boost investments.
Here is what Indian entrepreneurs have to say about Finance Minister's Union Budget 2013-14:
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director, Biocon: "I rate the #Budget2013 between 6-7. The directional intent is positive, hence 7/10. However, I am cautiously optimistic about achieving the projected fiscal deficit of 4.8% of GDP next fiscal. The huge impact of the fertilizer and Food subsidies of ₹65,000 crore and ₹85,000 crore respectively, will, in my view, be difficult to offset from revenues."
"The disinvestment plan of ₹55,000 crores next fiscal is unrealistic hence 6/10. There is no strong impetus to drive investment into manufacturing other than the 15% investment allowance on ₹100 crore projects which in my view is inadequate," she tweeted.
Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII): "CII welcomes the Budget 2013-14, which is growth and investment oriented. While addressing fiscal consolidation, it focuses on inclusive and sustained human development. Commendable initiatives have been taken in critical sectors such as agriculture, investment in manufacturing and infrastructure, MSME growth and capital market development among others."
CII official website also quoted the statements of the following corporate heads:-
R K Agrawal, Chairman, CII Eastern Region & Managing Partner, S R Batliboi & Co.: "The Budget 2013 is a balanced and inclusive in nature. Particular attention has been given to infrastructure, affirmative action, the housing sector, warehousing, roads and Skill development which are commendable."
Rajiv Kaul, Chairman, Nicco Corporation Ltd: "The Budget proposals will have a positive impact on the manufacturing sector. The increase in planned expenditure will boost supply to a large extent. With Rs 100 cr minimum limit for investment allowance, large investment has been taken care of. I feel overall the Budget has sent a positive indication which will give the much-needed confidence to the industry."
Sanjay Budhia, Managing Director, Patton International Ltd: "The proposals are quite promising. The Budget has provided a definite indication for presenting the much-needed GST bill as early as possible. The budget has laid emphasis on growth, education, health and social sector."
Dr Rupali Basu, CEO, Apollo Hospital: "The health sector has been given a priority with a proposed allocation of ₹37,333 cr." "I personally appreciate the focus on special sectors like SC, ST along with the women and children."
Rajan Vaswani, Chairman and Managing Director, Wesman Engg. Co Pvt Ltd: "From the capital goods market point of view, the budget is a very creative one with everything in the right balance. The Finance Minister has come up with some new ideas which can lend credence to the country's growth story."
Ms Pallavi P Kaul, MD, Nicco Ventures Ltd: "Focus on skill development and education from Central level is a progressive step. Sustainability has been ensured by proposing conversion of garbage waste into energy by local municipality. The stress on renewable energy sector will go a long way in lessening the existing power shortage in the country."
Malvinder Mohan Singh, Chairman, CII (NR) and Executive Chairman, Fortis Healthcare Limited: "There is something for all sectors. The theme of high growth and inclusive development has been maintained. There is a strong focus on the social sector with a 30 % additional allocation, emphasising Health and Education. Outlay on Rural Development is up 46 % and Infrastructure has been given a significant boost. The initiative for a women's bank, a first in the world, is laudable."
Meanwhile, political parties have slammed Chidambaram's budget
BJP leader Arun Jaitley told CNN IBN: "The Finance Minister and the UPA had pushed the economy into a corner and therefore, given this helpless situation, the best argument that can be said in its favour is, he was faced with this helpless situation, he had very little elbow space, and therefore he did a little of what he could."
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav told reporters on Thursday: "This budget has completely ignored the farmers. It is only meant for 10 per cent population, while the interests of 65 per cent engaged in farming have been ignored. SP will oppose the Budget in Parliament."
"They are in power for the last 10 years and if there is no leverage for the Finance Minister to go for a big ticket or big direction budget, it is entirely because the elbow room constraint is because of his own creation. Now in the paragraph 9 of the budget, the FM says investment is down, sentiment is down, everything is down, nothing has been done today to pep up that confidence in the investors," BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad told CNN IBN.
Other politicians like Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, Janata Dal (Secular) State president H.D. Kumaraswamy, BJP national general secretary and MP Ananth Kumar, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) chief Jayalalithaa and several others have slammed the Chidambaram's budget.
On the contrary, Congress leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have lavished praises on the Union Budget. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, whose party JD(U) is an ally of the BJP, is perhaps the only politician from a political party, which is not an ally of UPA government, to praise Chidambaram's budget openly.