Money & Banking

This tiger will roar

ARUNDHATI BHATTACHARYA | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on February 29, 2016

Arundhati_Bhattacharya

But we must take bold steps and calculated risks

A comprehensive fiscal deficit target of 3.5 per cent of GDP in 2016-17 clearly indicates the government’s will to continue on the path of fiscal prudence, against many adversities.

With improved revenue deficit target from 2.8 per cent to 2.5 per cent of GDP in FY16, the government is moving towards achieving its goal of productive spending.

This year’s budget is on the anticipated path of agriculture and job creation. . The creation of a unified agriculture market, promotion of soil health cards on a mission mode basisand routing of fertiliser subsidy on a pilot basis through the DBT scheme could be game-changers in the agriculture sector.

Level playing fields

The Budget has not laid down a road map for bank recapitalisation. The proposed code on resolution along with the bankruptcy code will create a level playing field for banks. The creation of legislation to curb illicit deposit-taking schemes will ensure a level playing field for bank deposits.

Additionally, broad-basing eligible investors in ARCs/security receipts (SRs) will be positive for banks. The possibility of including HNIs and non-QIBs as eligible investors/subscribers can help broadbase investor array.

We have to wait for the RBI to clarify this matter on the same. The plan to make amendments in the Motor Vehicle Acts will introduce more competition in the transport.

Social focus

The budget has also underlined a specific focus on education and healthcare. The new health insurance scheme and tax rebate for senior citizens for the pension scheme will provide succour in a country that has no comprehensive social security in place.

India is at the point of inflection and this budget has decidedly determined the coordinates of that inflection point in a positive manner.

The writer is the chairman of State Bank of India. The views are personal

Published on February 29, 2016
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