Winner of hearts, underwhelms on delivery

    The maiden budget of India’s first full-time female finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, warmed our hearts when she likened the honest taxpayer as the elephant that was happy eating a mound of rice over trampling the field to eat paddy. Sadly the budget failed to deliver a stimulus for growth which many were expecting given the current slowdown.

    With a target of a $5 tr economy by 2024, a growth pick up is non-negotiable. But instead of a fiscal push, the govt has decided spruce up the infrastructure so that the private sector gains speed. For me, the budget was about infrastructure, India’s self-esteem and the ease of living.

    ALSO READ: Budget 2019 for you: Key takeaways

    INFRASTRUCTURE

    1. One nation one grid-gas, water grids etc

    2. Push to affordable housing and rural roads, electricity and gas connections

    3. Har ghar Jal by 2024

    INDIA’S SELF ESTEEM

    1. Aircraft financing and leasing in India

    2. The commercialisation of the space program

    3. New National Education Policy and Study in India program

    EASE OF LIVING

    1. Interchangeability of PAN with Aadhar

    2. Aadhar for NRIs with Indian passports without 180 day waiting period

    3. Self populated tax return

    SOPS FOR INDUSTRY

    1. 25% corporate tax for firms with a turnover of Rs 400cr vs Rs 250cr

    2. Ease NBFC financing with guarantees

    3. Reducing harassment of startups over angel tax and valuation scrutiny

    4. Cheaper electric vehicles

    THE LETDOWN

    1. Rs 1/litre cess on petrol and diesel

    2. Increase In customs duty on gold from 10 to 12.5%

    3. Super rich with income of more than Rs 2 cr to pay higher surcharge between 3-7%

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