Individual households have a reason to be aggrieved as there were hopes that the tax slabs would be altered and that their savings under Section 80C would be enlarged so that they could channelise more funds into these instruments. This is more so on account of high inflation which has dented both purchasing power and saving ability. With little being done on these ends, there will be a modicum of dissatisfaction. The FM, however, has been quite open in saying they cannot give away much, given the fiscal stringency being faced.
Corporates would have a mixed reaction to the Budget. Tax rates have been changed at the margin for some commodities and there are some sops on investment allowance, which should help. But they would be wary of the government’s tendency to cut back on project expenditure in the past to balance the Budget. This could happen again in case there is slippage which is not good because it holds back their own investment in the form of incomplete projects which are being serviced. Therefore, there would be some uncertainty here.
Capital market investors are better-off with the STT being reduced and greater role of the FIIs in this space. SMEs, too, would find this market friendlier. But the absence of any other benefit for investors except for the continuation of the RGESS, which of course will not be bringing in large quantum of funds, has not quite encouraged the market, which fell around 300 points on this score on the Budget day. In fact, the cautious note of the Budget had signalled the downtrend in the Sensex and the absence of any significant benefit exacerbated the pace of decline. However, the higher inflow of FIIs on account of the easing of administrative blockages would probably help at the margin.
Therefore, this is a Budget which will elicit a variety of emotions from various constituents of the market.