Budget: Analysts say more needs to be done

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018

Mr Bharat Shah, Director, ASK Investment Holdings Private Ltd, at Budget 2011-Discussion and Analysis in Mumbai on Tuesday. - Photo: Shashi Ashiwal   -  Business Line

“The Sensex has given the budget a 21-gun salute. This means a lot more since it comes a day after the budget,” said Mr Ajit Ranade, Chief Economist with the Aditya Birla Group, of the 600-plus-points rise in the Sensex on Tuesday.

While the markets may have welcomed the Finance Minister's budget with open arms, there seems to be a mixed reaction from economic analysts and commentators in general, as was demonstrated at an event organised by the BSE on Tuesday.

“The markets will always fluctuate, and it is our job to profit from it,” said Mr Ramesh Damani, Managing Director of Ramesh S. Damani Finance.

When asked if the budget was “good”, hardly 50 per cent of those present in the audience raised their hands in agreement. When asked if it was “poor”, no hands were raised, making one wonder if it was indifference at work in the room. But whether indifferent or not, the BSE Convention Hall was filled with an eager audience of the BSE Brokers Forum.

Mr Bharat Shah, Director, ASK Investment Holdings Private Ltd, said: “Budget 2011 is an indication that we are moving towards fiscal consolidation, towards current account deficit being controlled. However, nothing powerful has been announced that will specifically impact the markets.”

The corporates and the industry have been well taken care of, but agriculture had been given a step-motherly treatment, agreed panel members, which consisted of Mr Vikram Nankani, Partner, Economic Law Practice, Advocates & Solicitors, Mr G. Chandrashekhar, Commodity Head and Resident Editor, The Hindu Business Line, along with Mr Shah, Mr Ranade and Mr Damani.

With respect to the expenditure of the country, some serious steps had been taken, said the speakers. “Revenues have not been able to meet expenditure in the past. Therefore, attempts have been made to reign in expenditure in this budget.

“However, pattern of expenditure has not seen any change with capital expenditure being decreased by 1.5 per cent and revenue expenditure being raised by 5 per cent. What our country needs today is asset formation or capital formation expenditure and not revenue-oriented,” added Mr. Shah.

“The two concerns before the economy are of resource management (crunch) and the challenge of inflation,” pointed out Mr. Ranade. “It is impossible for a country with 8 per cent inflation to achieve 8 per cent GDP growth.”

“Growth in the economy will take place in spite of the government, not because of the government,” said Mr Chandrashekhar. According to him, inflation might only get worse. “There is nothing in the budget to address inflation. Rural people remain untouched by the budget, especially given the huge agriculture challenges,” he added.

Published on March 01, 2011

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