Nirmala Sitharaman presented her second Budget, which the industry and markets were hoping will have measures that will help boost consumption and demand to boost growth.

Here is what economists and analysts have to say about the Budget:

Saurabh Mukherjea, founder and chief investment officer, Marcellus Investment Managers

Whilst the IT cuts and DDT abolishment are to be lauded alongside targeted fiscal consolidation in FY21, it’s distressing to hear the FM request RBI to extend the restructuring window even as India struggles to find a solution to the NBFC crisis.

Satya Easwaran, partner and leader, markets enablement and leader - technology, media and telecom, KPMG in India

In Budget 2020, technology has been clearly recognised as both a disruptor and enabler of new models of business and lifestyles. The government is looking to the future and the next generation of quantum technologies with the announcement of INR 8,000 crore for further R&D in this field. Start-ups are receiving due attention with measures announced to not just provide early life funding from the government to support ideation and development, but also ensure that innovation and associated IP can be protected. The Finance Minister also proposed a scheme to promote the manufacturing of electronics and semi-conductor packaging in India.

On balance though, a few more announcements of measures to alleviate the financial stress of the telecom sector – the underlying platform for most digital innovation – would have been timely.

Amar Ambani, senior president and head of research, Institutional Equities, YES Securities.

The market saw a sharp sell-off during Budget, as expectations were sky-high. The market expected an overhaul of personal income tax slabs, whereas we expected only a minor tweak, in a year that has seen flat tax revenue growth. Market participants possibly also expected more measures to revive economic growth and ignored the containment of fiscal deficit in FY21 to only 3.5%. We are quite satisfied with the budget math, however. Tax receipts appear achievable, especially once some flow comes through the amnesty scheme for direct tax cases. Likewise, disinvestment proceeds will also be large with LIC IPO on the cards. On the expenditure front, 13% yoy growth budgeted for FY21 matches with our estimate. Ramp up in GST revenues is a key monitorable.

Abizer Diwanji, partner & leader, financial services - EY India

The reiteration in the Budget on governance of PSU banks needs to be followed up by concrete steps in that directions.  Empowerment of Banks Board Bureau (BBB), independent board members and board powers for appointment of Key Managerial Personnel (KMPs) in these banks could go a long way.  Also PSUs have a great franchise in reach and deposits but re-skilling of its task force and attracting talent from the private sector is critical.

On the NBFC funding, it seems to be reiterating the same message around enhancing financing to them.  Frankly there is a sentiment issue that is more systemic and a one-time allowance of transfer of project loans at cost to SPVs like AIFs would have been a better move.  This would have dealt with tenor risk and banks having to take a mark to market approach with the flexibility to specialist asset managers to turn these assets around be it projects or real estate.

Motilal Oswal, managing director & CEO, Motilal Oswal Financial Services

Markets have taken a cautious view on the budget, the tax rate cut and DDT benefit will help economy to grow and corporate payouts to increase, at these levels one should buy for long term.

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