India Inc wasn’t expecting anything from interim budget (Lead)

February 16th, 2009 - 6:47 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) The following are the reactions from some prominent industrialists and economists to the interim budget presented by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee here Monday:

Nandan Nilekani, co-chairman, Infosys: (It was) more of a report card on the government in the last five years than any specific new proposal. Anything which has a new dimension will probably come in only after the new government comes in.

Deepak Parekh, chairman, HDFC Bank: Not a disappointment, I did not expect anything in the interim budget. It was never meant to be a giveaway. Interim budget is only an exercise of stating accounts.

Chanda Kochhar, joint managing director and next CEO of ICICI Bank: What is important is to propel consumption, mainly through cuts in interest rates. Somehow it does not seem to be happening.

R.C. Bhargava, chairman Maruti Suzuki: The government has given very clear direction. It wants to create jobs, it wants investment in rural sectors, which would create demand for cars, two-wheelers and commercial vehicles as well. A risk has to be taken and as inflation is coming down, a fiscal deficit to that level is justifiable also.

Rakesh Bharti Mittal , vice-chairman Bharti Enterprises: It (budget) was on expected lines. We will have to wait for the new government and the final budget. It was supposed to be an interim budget, so it has turned out to be an interim budget. Some steps can be taken outside the budget also.

Venu Srinivasan, chairman and managing director, TVS Motor: It is not a budget. It is only a vote on account. I did not expect any major policy announcement or tax concessions. The government has given the tax concessions in two stimulus packages.

Uday Kotak, managing director, Kotak Mahindra Bank: Acting finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has stuck to what is good convention.

Sajjan Jindal, vice-chairman and managing director of JSW Steel: I was not expecting much from this. For the next two-three months, we are going to have a policy freeze but monetary policies will address some factors like interest rates.

Pradeep Jain, chairman of Parasvnath Developers: It’s a non-event for the corporate world. The interim budget is merely a populist budget.

Dalip Kumar, manager (projects) at National Council for Applied Economic Research: How are they going to maintain the economic growth…these are political statements.

D.K. Joshi, principal economist, credit rating agency Crisil: There is a significant fiscal slippage and it is worrying that it is expected to be high despite lower subsidies, which is because of higher spending in infrastructure and the social sector. It looks like there is no scope for fiscal correction.

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