Budget 2024 - 2025
Economic Survey Preview Announcement Articles Pre-Budget Expectations Reactions

Kaushal Agarwal, Chairman, The Guardians Real Estate Advisory
"We commend the administration for its progressive stance, which is evident in the Interim Union Budget 2024-2025 that was unveiled today by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The measures the government has put in place to encourage middle-class occupants of chawls, unauthorised colonies, slums, and rental properties to become homeowners demonstrate its commitment to supporting the real estate industry.
This progressive budget supports the government's initiative of constructing additional 20 million affordable homes in the next five years, while also setting a good standard for the real estate industry. The emphasis on PM Awas Yojana Grameen is perfectly in line with the goal of our sector, which is to promote equitable and sustainable growth. The empowerment of women in rural areas, with over 70 percent of houses designated to them as sole or joint owners under this initiative, is noteworthy.
The massive budget of Rs 11.11 lakh crores set out for infrastructure in FY25 will also help the real estate market. We look forward to actively contributing to the real estate industry's growth and development under the enabling policies by offering our developer partners insightful advice."
Madhavan Menon, Executive Chairman, Thomas Cook (India) Limited
The interim Budget presented by the Finance Minister has focussed on Tourism with a multipronged approach that we believe will create a multiplier effect across aviation, tourism and allied sectors, boosting growth and employment generation.
We welcome the announcements on airport development and expansion: having already doubled to 149 airports in the last decade, the government's plans to boost air connectivity by the addition of 517 new routes across Tier 2-3 cities, carrying 1.3 crore passengers via the UDAN scheme, will play a critical role with vibrant hub and spoke air corridors to boost accessibility-affordability for Regional India.
Implementation of major rail connectivity corridors via the PM Gati Shakti program together with port and metro/rapid transport expansion will serve to create valuable multi modal connectivity for Tourism.
We welcome the special focus on Domestic Tourism which represents a vibrant growth driver via the government's plan of long-term interest free loans to States; development of iconic tourism centres by States along with marketing on global standards. What was noteworthy is the reference to Spiritual Tourism and projects for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure and amenities on islands including Lakshdweep - aimed at development of India's hidden gems and employment opportunities.
Further, the strong capex outlay of Rs 11.11 lakh cr, a significant 4% of our GDP, will serve as a catalyst to the Country's growth potential and job creation.
Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travel Limited.
The interim budget presented by Hon'ble Finance Minister has maintained status-quo on direct and indirect taxes thus keeping its impact neutral. The government has set focus on the overall travel and tourism sector via infrastructure development, green energy, sustainability and looked at diverse initiatives for domestic tourism via a strategic approach for each segment - aviation, ports (waterways) and rail to strengthen regional connectivity to tier 2 and 3 cities.
We welcome the development on the rapid expansion of air connectivity with the addition of 517 new routes across Regional India's tier 2 and 3 cities via the UDAN scheme - this will play a key role in strengthening accessibility.
The special focus on strengthening domestic tourism via implementation of rail connectivity corridors under the PM Gati Shakti initiative and upgrading 40,000 regular train boogies into high speed Vande Bharat trains will definitely strengthen surface transportation.
The Government's plan on focus on spiritual tourism, development of iconic tourist spots and island destinations of India including Lakshadweep (projects for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure, and amenities) will generate employment thus boosting India's economy. What is noteworthy, is the Government's mindful move to form a panel to tackle challenges of higher population/over tourism, especially in destinations with sensitive ecosystems.
Pratik Kamdar, CEO & Co-Founder Neuron Energy.
"The Interim Budget focused on key sectors and one of the promising ones is Electric Vehicles (EV). The initiatives will enhance and fortify the EV ecosystem by bolstering manufacturing and charging infrastructure. Additionally, the encouragement of greater adoption of e-buses for public transport networks through payment security mechanisms is a notable benefit. These investments not only pave the way for increased EV sales and adoption but also open doors for burgeoning job opportunities and entrepreneurial ventures within the sector. These efforts remain dedicated to driving India's green mobility revolution forward. There is also an anticipated outcome in the form of economic empowerment which will equip the youth with valuable technical skills, ensuring a robust workforce for the manufacturing of EV chargers, and associated equipment. We look forward to the July budget where the focus will be on Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME II) scheme and much-anticipated FAME III scheme."
Ankur Gigras, CEO and Co-founder of HexaHealth
"The interim budget was just released, and the emphasis on a comprehensive GDP, incorporating governance, development, and performance was evident. The proposed fiscal estimate reinforces a people-centric agenda and promises great enhancement in Indian healthcare. As per WHO, cervical cancer ranks as the fourth most prevalent cancer among women, posing a significant challenge for the Indian population. The budget forecast has thus put focus on prioritising precautionary healthcare by encouraging vaccination in girls of 9-14 years for cervical cancer. This initiative is a great step to help in the diagnosis and prevention of cervical cancer in girls at an early age. Additionally, the finance minister mentioned extending the Ayushman Bharat scheme to include ASHA and Anganwadi workers, which reflects inclusivity by recognising their invaluable role in our health system. The finance minister expressed her futuristic expectations during the provisional budget, ensuring the necessary support. The vision for 2047 is full of commitment to providing abundant opportunities for our country. It has motivated the healthcare sector to continue contributing to holistic development and achieve great heights."
Amit Parsuramka, CEO, Bonito Designs
"The budget 2024 has placed a significant emphasis on inclusive development, setting the stage for India's transformation into a "Viksit Bharat" by 2047. This strides in the PM Awas Yojana Gramin, targeting the construction of 3 crore houses with an additional 2 crore in the next 5 years, underscore a substantial commitment to affordable housing. This approach holds immense promise for the interior designing, real estate, and infrastructure sectors, with the specific focus on uplifting the middle class. Anticipated growth in real estate demand and concurrent development in infrastructure present a myriad of opportunities in Tier II and Tier III markets as well. The announcement pertaining to boosting domestic and spiritual tourism will also give rise to real estate and related businesses in those areas. As the government proactively addresses housing needs and establishing collaborations with these sectors, there's a tangible potential for them to play pivotal roles in the transformative vision of the country"
Nikhil Mansukhani, Managing Director, MAN Industries
"The budget aligns with the vision of 'Viksit Bharat', that of creating a prosperous nation in harmony with mother nature. We see the emphasis on modern infrastructure, including metro rail network and NaMo Bharat, as a significant catalyst for urban and industrial transformation. It is commendable to see the government's strategy to triple capital expenditure, fostering robust economic growth and job creation. The 11.1 percent increase in next year's outlay to 11,11,111 crore, constituting 3.4 percent of the GDP, reflects a visionary approach. The focus on building infrastructure aligns seamlessly with the government's vision for a resilient and prosperous India.
Very importantly, the provision of viability gap funding for offshore wind energy, establishment of coal gasification and liquefaction capacity, and the phased mandatory blending of compressed biogas in CNG and PNG, are welcome steps towards India's commitment to achieving 'net-zero' by 2070. These will lead to reduced imports and boost self-reliance, a very welcome approach to our sustainability goals.
The strategic economic railway corridor programs are bound to boost the energy, mineral, and cement corridors, ports connectivity, and enhanced and smoother traffic. These initiatives will undoubtedly propel infrastructural development and growth."
Balasaheb Darade, Founder and MD, New Era Cleantech Solution
New Era Cleantech Solution, on the budget announcement and implications on coal gasification and clean energy.
The budget announcement by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman today outlining the promotion of coal gasification and liquefaction capacity with a substantial outlay of 100 metric tons by 2030, underscores the government's commitment to for clean coal technologies for its energy and chemicals self-sufficiency in a sustainable and affordable manner. This initiative aligns with India's commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2070 as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at COP26 held in Glasgow in 2021. We appreciate the Government's strategy to facilitate sustaining high and more resource efficient economic growth. This will work towards energy security in terms of availability, accessibility and affordability.
The decision is a significant step as it helps reduce the import of natural gas, oil, chemicals, which can be derived through coal gasification.
Coal gasification and liquefaction will enhance energy security under the Atmanirbhar Bharat framework. The focus on boosting domestic production and curbing imports of various commodities such as natural gas, hydrogen, urea, methanol, ammonia, DME/LPG, will lead to significant forex savings.
New Era CleanTech Solution leads one of India's pioneering 5 MMPTA private sector clean coal gasification projects. The budget announcement, coupled with the Union Cabinets's recent unveiling of an ?8,500 crore incentive scheme for coal gasification, is poised to catalyze substantial growth in the coal-to-chemicals sector. This dual initiative enhances the viability of coal gasification projects, making them more attractive for further investment and fostering a sustainable energy landscape in India.
China's successful use of coal gasification in recent years to produce essential materials like urea, ammonia, methanol, and hydrogen shows immense potential for India. Geopolitically, coal gasification is important for India as it will reduce our dependency on imports and promote self-reliance and energy security. It will also help many other industries by replacing oil and natural gas and have a multiplier effect. In all, the homegrown petrochemicals products made using syngas will truly lead us towards Atmanirbhar Bharat.
The FM has announced a research and innovation fund of Rs.1 Lakh Crore. The other measures in the Budget including viability gap funding for offshore wind, rooftop solarisation, which will benefit one crore households, strengthening of the e-vehicle ecosystem and the new scheme of bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry will increase the share of renewable energy in the energy mix.
On FDI by Jiger Saiya, Partner & Leader, Tax & Regulatory Services, MSKA & Associates - a member firm of BDO International
It will be interesting to see how the new terminology coined by the FM on FDI, "First Develop India", pans out through the proposed and renegotiated Bilateral Investment Treaties. Meanwhile, the Government should consider notifying a number of already signed Most-Favoured-Nation protocols consummating the amendments to the tax treaties enabling favourable tax treatment to certain transactions with non-residents.
On Agriculture : Soumyak Biswas ,Partner, Management Consulting, BDO India
The interim budget 2024 seems to be a pragmatic one, as it clearly focuses on transformational shifts in the agriculture sector which include areas on productivity improvement and value addition, sustainable agriculture, reduction of import dependence, fast-tracking development in allied sectors such as dairy and fisheries and rural employment through creation of micro enterprises. Encouraging Public Private Partnerships (PPP) is expected not only to infuse investments in the sector but also bring in the much-needed expertise in enabling a large majority of farmers who are small and marginal in moving up the value chain. Increased allocation towards PM-Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme and focus on Aspirational Districts Programme is expected to give a boost to rural job creation opportunities which in turn can boost rural demand. The Atma Nirbhar Oilseeds Abhiyan is expected to bring down the dependence on imports of edible oil by focusing on improving yields in states which have high acreage but lower productivity, increasing acreage in non-traditional areas, developing new varieties , resource efficiency, providing timely inputs and training to farmers. Given the changing dietary patterns and income generation potential, increased outlay for dairy and fisheries sector (Blue Revolution and PM- Matsaya Sampada Yojana) is expected to not only meet the increased demand for nutrition in domestic markets, but also give a boost to the exports from the country. Setting up of the integrated aquaparks will help in infrastructure upgradation and enhancing aquaculture productivity which will positively impact the livelihoods of millions of fishers/ fish farmers.
On Business & Economy: Manoj Purohit, Partner & Leader, Financial Services, Tax & Regulatory Services, BDO India
The Hon'ble Finance Minister tabled the Fiscal Budget 2024 (interim) with an emphasis on the agriculture and infrastructure sector and a move towards robust economy. The Hon'ble FM mentioned that strengthening of the financial sector has helped in making savings, credit and investments in the Indian economy more efficient.
The BFSI sector will continue to be a support system for the government's initiative on various fronts like PM Mudra Yojana for providing small loans, in the form of crop insurance for more than 4 crore farmers; infrastructure development and financing; etc. Moreover, the Government's proposal to enter into bilateral investment treaties will boost the financial services as these services play a crucial role in facilitating the foreign investment in the Indian ecosystem.
The Finance Minister has echoed the Government's clear intent to support the financial services sector by continuing the tax exemptions/ benefits to the International Financial Service Center (IFSC). The tax exemptions about to expire on 31 March 2024 are now extended upto 31 March 2025. One may expect further extensions of tax benefits and other incentives for the IFSC in the final budget as the IFSC has created a robust gateway for global capital and financial services for the Indian economy. Moreover, initiatives like the announcement of India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor and the extension of tax benefits to sovereign wealth funds and pension funds of Middle-East will place India at a strategic position in terms of investment destination on the world map. With the Indian economy getting stronger the banking, insurance and other allied services will continue to provide the necessary support towards government's vision of 'Vikasit Bharat' and USD 5 trillion economy.
On Taxation by Jiger Saiya, Partner & Leader, Tax & Regulatory Services, MSKA & Associates - a member firm of BDO International
"Despite no major announcements, tax buoyancy is expected to increase with a focus on simplified tax laws, easier compliance, and efficient administration thereby increasing taxpayer confidence and encouraging compliance. This could result in an increased tax base."
Manoj Purohit, Partner & Leader, Financial Services, Tax & Regulatory Services, BDO India
The government has continued its support to farmers under the crop insurance facility and intends to further strengthen the same. Crop insurance was given to almost 4 crores farmers and it continues to be a pillar of support for the 'annadata' i.e. the farmers as quoted by the Hon'ble Finance Minister in her Budget Speech. The crop insurance will also play a crucial role in the Atmanirbhar Oil Seeds Abhiyan announced by the Finance Minister. These initiatives will ensure penetration and awareness about insurance in rural India thereby providing a boost to the insurance industry.
On Tax regime : Deepashree Shetty, Partner, Tax & Regulatory Services, BDO India LLP
1. Considering this is an Interim Budget, no changes are proposed in the personal tax rates. Individual taxpayers need to continue analysing the effective tax regime selection i.e. old vs. new tax regime.
2. Since rationalisation and reduction of personal tax rates have happened in the recent Finance Budgets, no changes are proposed in the Interim Finance Budget 2024.
3. The FinMin has hailed several measures taken by the Government over the recent years to improve taxpayer services. This included simplification and pre-filled ITR forms, updated tax returns, access to Form 26AS and other information, faster processing of tax returns to average 10 days enabling quicker tax refund credits, faceless assessments, etc. These have improved the overall approach and experience of taxpayers.
4. The Finance Minister's proposal to improve taxpayer services included waiving-off outdated outstanding direct tax demands. This is a welcome move as several individual taxpayers received notices for petty outstanding demands or their refunds were stuck for demand adjustments. The proposal would benefit several taxpayers with demand upto INR 25,000 (for period upto FY 2009-10) and upto INR 10,000 (for period covering FY 2010-11 to FY 2014-15). The CBDT should come out with the mechanism for making such adjustments.
Priyam N. Patel, CEO of NK Proteins Ltd (which owns the Tirupati brand of edible oils)
"We welcome the interim budget's emphasis on promoting private and public investment in post-harvest activities, modern storage, and efficient supply chains. It will further boost the vegetable oil sector. The Atmanirbhar Oil Seeds Abhiyan's strategic approach to achieving self-sufficiency in mustard, groundnut, sesame, soybean, and sunflower highlights the government's unwavering dedication to the comprehensive development of the agriculture sector. This budget sets the stage for a more robust and sustainable oil seeds industry, fostering growth, resilience, and enhanced contribution to the nation's agricultural landscape."
Subahoo Chordia, President & Head - Real Assets, Edelweiss Alternatives.
"The budget is a further demonstration of the sustained government support to the infrastructure sector, evident in an increase of over 11% in allocation. Initiatives such as the development of multi-modal connectivity, a renewed emphasis on advancing solar and wind energy technologies, including offshore wind, and the improvement of railway infrastructure are poised to fuel economic growth. The backing of sustainable technologies, including electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, bodes well for a cleaner future. In all, the budget is expected to lead to a sustained growth of the economy."
Sahil Kapoor, Head - Products and Market Strategist at DSP Mutual Fund
It is noteworthy is that this is a budget entirely focused on fiscal consolidation and not populism, which was expected to be in focus because of the upcoming general elections. The most pleasing words from the budget: "No changes in taxation." It's a budget that focuses on the continuation of policy and doesn't introduce any surprises. It's a budget prepared keeping in mind that global fiscal expenditure may decrease this year, and the global monetary policy may tighten. The government has assumed an increase in total expenditure of 6.1% YoY in FY25. This is the lowest growth in 8 years, and less than half of the 8-year average of 12.4%. The budget has a negative fiscal impulse, with the gross fiscal deficit contracting by Rs. 49,000 crores and the primary deficit reducing by Rs. 1.8 lakh crores. The bond market has rejoiced with a drop in yields, and rightfully so. Gross and net borrowing for FY25 are lower than FY24. The fiscal deficit is expected at 5.1% for FY25, a reduction of 0.7%. With India getting included in global bond indices and the supply of Govt. Securities estimated to be lower, it will lift a major hurdle for the RBI to exercise a more neutral to easy monetary policy - advantage duration funds
Krutikesh Age, Co-founder, DPHS Pvt. Ltd, a clinical research, development, diagnostics and data management solutions company-
"The schemes proposed in the Union Budget 2024 present both opportunities and challenges for the common man and the healthcare industry. Enhanced health insurance coverage and preventive care initiatives offer financial protection and easier access to healthcare services for individuals, while also driving increased demand and investment in the healthcare sector. However, effective implementation of these schemes at the grassroots level and maintaining the quality of healthcare services remain key challenges. Additionally, affordability of additional services like cervical cancer vaccination could limit uptake among economically disadvantaged families. For the healthcare industry, the expansion of medical colleges contributes to skill development and technological advancements, yet financial pressures and regulatory compliance pose significant hurdles. Competition among providers may increase, potentially driving consolidation and limiting options for consumers. In summary, while the Union Budget 2024 schemes aim to improve healthcare access and outcomes, addressing implementation challenges and ensuring long-term sustainability will be essential for their success."
Aman Puri, Founder, Steadfast Nutrition, one of the leading sports nutrition and wellness brands in India-
"The revised estimates on healthcare are more significant to analyse since this is an interim budget since the estimates for next year will change when the government presents the Budget after the elections in July. On health, the government's revised estimates show that it had set an expenditure of Rs 88,956 cr last year but actually spent only Rs 79,221 crore. The health allocations are lower than what India needs - it is less than 2% of GDP while the world average is 6% - and the revised estimates show that even those targets have not been met in the ongoing financial year. We need to strengthen primary and secondary healthcare in India and with these numbers, will not be able to do so. However, the government's decision to expedite Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0, its flagship scheme to address the challenges of malnutrition in children, adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers is a welcome step. The decision will go a long way in improving nutrition content and delivery among these segments of our population and is a step towards eliminating India's problem of malnutrition."
Suresh Garg, CMD & Founder at Zeon Lifesciences Ltd. -
"I believe the Union Budget of 2024 reflects a strategic balance, emphasizing economic growth, social development, and fiscal prudence, paving the way for a resilient and inclusive future. A special focus on Women empowerment, Farmers as Annadata, and startups will really contribute along with increasing opportunities for international trades and exports will surely lead to economic reform. However, the tax slabs are unchanged. But steps like vaccination of cervical cancer for 9-14-year-old girls in their schools is surely a big step for women's health. The vision of becoming Vikshit Bharat by 2047 seems to be achievable through all these reforms."
Avinash Deshmukh, COO, iThrive, Pune-Based Health & Wellness Startup
"In this budget announcement, the government has taken a reflective and pragmatic approach, summarizing the achievements of the past decade rather than making bold announcements. This interim budget seems to be a strategic move, avoiding major actions before the upcoming election. The emphasis on continuity and stability is evident, setting the stage for potential impactful measures in the post-election period. The extension of Ayushman Bharat cover to all Anganwadi and Asha workers, along with the consolidation of maternal and child healthcare schemes into a comprehensive initiative, demonstrates a commitment to inclusive healthcare. While it may be viewed as a status quo budget on the surface, it signifies a responsible and measured fiscal strategy, showcasing the government's dedication to maintaining a positive economic trajectory. The anticipation of more detailed fiscal numbers and micro financial parameters will provide a clearer picture of the country's economic direction. Overall, the budget lays the foundation for future developments and affirms the government's confidence in the positive trajectory of the nation."
Richa Bhanot, Director, Wellessentials, a startup that focuses on organic Tisanes
"The disbursement of 30 Crore Loans to women entrepreneurs under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) is a groundbreaking step towards empowering women in the business sector. By directing financial support to female entrepreneurs, the government is not just fostering economic growth but also actively working towards bridging the gender gap in entrepreneurship.
With loans extending up to Rs 10 lakh, the PMMY scheme is a beacon of hope and support for women striving to establish or expand their businesses. As a woman in business, I understand the challenges we face in securing funding. The government's focus on facilitating financial independence for women is a commendable move."
The significant increases in female enrollment in higher education and STEM courses statistics are not just numbers; they represent a societal shift where women are increasingly taking center stage in economic and educational spheres. The allocation of MUDRA loans is more than just financial assistance; it's a message of empowerment and faith in the capabilities of women entrepreneurs. It's a step towards a more inclusive and equitable business landscape."
Shabnum Khan, Mandrake Mydia and 750AD Healthcare Pvt. Ltd.
"In the vibrant realm of India's burgeoning startup ecosystem, the Union Budget 2024-25 resonates with our unwavering commitment to nurturing entrepreneurship, fostering innovation, and driving inclusive growth. The PM Mudra Yojana exemplifies empowerment, having dispersed thirty crore loans to women entrepreneurs, catalyzing their journey towards economic independence.
Furthermore, the budget's spotlight on the remarkable surge in female enrolment in higher education, coupled with their significant representation in STEM courses, underscores our dedication to fostering gender equality and nurturing talent, essential pillars for sustainable growth.
While celebrating these achievements, it's imperative to acknowledge the need for some relaxation in the tax regime for startups and small businesses. Such measures would not only incentivize risk-taking but also bolster the entrepreneurial spirit, driving further innovation and growth in our dynamic startup landscape."
Sandeep Chhillar, Founder at Landmark
"In the pursuit of inclusive and sustainable development, the budget echoes the ethos of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, and Sabka Vishwas,' weaving social and geographical harmony. Doubling the number of airports to 149 reflects a visionary stride which will boost the country's infrastructure and real estate. Our Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman affirms a commitment to economic policies fostering enduring growth, guided by the principles of Reform, Perform, and Transform. In addition to the extensive infrastructure proposal, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (grameen) will encourage home ownership especially across income levels."
Sandeep Yadav, Head - Fixed Income, DSP Mutual Fund
While we were expecting fiscal consolidation, but the budget took all by surprise by showing a low fiscal deficit of 5.1%. Moreover, the assumptions of nominal growth at 10.5% and tax growth at 12% are very realistic, thus leading credence to the deficit numbers. Govt has shown prudence not just in fiscal deficit, but also in allocation of funds. While the overall expenditure has grown by just around 6%, the capital expenditure has grown by 17%.
We have been bullish on bond yields, and the budget reinforces our view. The domestic demand for bonds will increase as PF, insurance and banks grow. The FPI demand for bonds is all but certain thanks to bond inclusion. In such a scenario Govt has reduced its gross borrowing by more than a lac crore. An increasing demand, and a decreasing supply makes 2024 a good year of bonds. We expect RBI to sell bonds to buffer the sharp fall in yields, however even then the yields fall should be significant.
Nikhil Mansukhani, Managing Director, MAN Industries. Request you to publish the same.
"The budget aligns with the vision of 'Viksit Bharat', that of creating a prosperous nation in harmony with mother nature. We see the emphasis on modern infrastructure, including metro rail network and NaMo Bharat, as a significant catalyst for urban and industrial transformation. It is commendable to see the government's strategy to triple capital expenditure, fostering robust economic growth and job creation. The 11.1 percent increase in next year's outlay to 11,11,111 crore, constituting 3.4 percent of the GDP, reflects a visionary approach. The focus on building infrastructure aligns seamlessly with the government's vision for a resilient and prosperous India.
Very importantly, the provision of viability gap funding for offshore wind energy, establishment of coal gasification and liquefaction capacity, and the phased mandatory blending of compressed biogas in CNG and PNG, are welcome steps towards India's commitment to achieving 'net-zero' by 2070. These will lead to reduced imports and boost self-reliance, a very welcome approach to our sustainability goals.
The strategic economic railway corridor programs are bound to boost the energy, mineral, and cement corridors, ports connectivity, and enhanced and smoother traffic. These initiatives will undoubtedly propel infrastructural development and growth."
Abhishek Bansal, Chairman of ABANS Groups
The Interim Budget 2024 was a quick and sharp one, with no major changes in the tax structure but a slight change in the fiscal policy, particularly in relation to expenditure, fiscal deficit, and support for rural and infrastructure development. The government maintained its focus on infrastructure development and connectivity, which will boost the real estate sector and the urbanization of the country. The extension of the tax sops for infra investments by sovereign/pension funds is a welcome move, as it will attract more long-term capital into the economy. The investors also appreciated the stability and predictability of the direct and indirect tax rates, which will foster a conducive environment for the capital and commodity markets. The budget also highlighted the importance of the GIFT IFSC, which is emerging as a robust gateway for global capital and financial services. The budget, however, was silent on some of the key issues, such as the direct overseas listing, the disinvestment, and the AIF industry. We hope that the final budget post-elections will address these issues and provide more clarity and support to the investment industry.
Shubhasheesh Bhattacharya, Director, Navi Mumbai Campus NMIMS
The mood in the education sector remains buoyant and the steady implementation of NEP 2020 is a positive sign. However, I would have expected some announcements regarding increased budget allocation for HEIs to bring about digital transformation and some systemic changes like the 'one nation one syllabus'. Attention also needs to be given to experiential and out-of-class learning. Hopefully, the next budget will focus on these aspects.
Narayani Ramachandran Director, Bengaluru Campus NMIMS
It was heartening to hear the Hon. Finance Minister mention the increase in higher educational institutes and women in STEM courses in the last 10 years. This is just the beginning. With Higher Education Institutions adopting inclusion and diversity in a big way, Along with the government's support, the future of the girl students in India is bright. We hope for more incentives for female students to enable them to march ahead in the academic space.
Meena Chintamaneni - Pro Vice Chancellor - SVKM NMIMS
With regard to the pharmaceutical sector, the post-budget focus will be on the introduction of new programmes in Pharma to promote Research and Innovation in pharmaceuticals through Centres of Excellence. Institutions backed by robust infrastructure - both physical and manpower- will have the capacity to start innovative programmes. The pharmaceutical industry will be encouraged to invest in research and development in specific priority areas. Moreover, the Industry-Academia connection could be further strengthened. Existing institutions, especially those pertaining to medical devices, will be in a position to introduce multidisciplinary courses supported by the government to develop skilled manpower for futuristic medical technologies, high-end manufacturing and research. This gives impetus to good institutions to create self-sufficient skilled workers in the healthcare sector, improving the medical facilities and treatment in our country to support the vision highlighted by the finance minister.
Yuvraj Thakker, MD, StoxBox
The Budget for 2024-25 is a progressive one for the Indian economy. The finance minister has announced several measures that will boost the financial sector's digital transformation. The establishment of a ?1 lakh crore corpus with 50-year interest-free loans is a game-changer for smaller firms and startups, fueling innovation and growth across various sectors. The record capital expenditure outlay of ?11.11 lakh crore fuels optimism for increased private investments in the fintech ecosystem. The rise in GST collections indicates a robust economy, translating to increased investment opportunities. At StoxBox, we welcome the budget and look forward to building a more inclusive and innovative financial ecosystem for India.The reaction is positive and welcoming.
Vamsi Krishna UV, CEO, StoxBox
Embarking on the journey through the Interim Budget 2024-2025, it's crystal clear that the government's fiscal roadmap will have a profound impact on our economic landscape and, in turn, ignite ripples of excitement in the stock market. With a prudent approach, characterized by a targeted reduction in borrowing and an ambitious fiscal deficit target of 5.1%, the budget sets the stage for a vibrant financial future.As the CEO of StoxBox, I'm thrilled by the opportunities that lie ahead. The extension of tax exemptions for select sectors and the bold move to withdraw disputed tax demands promise to infuse our markets with a newfound vigor, propelling us towards unprecedented growth. These measures not only bolster investor confidence but also create an environment ripe for strategic investment and innovation. At StoxBox, we're poised at the forefront of this dynamic landscape, ready to harness the potential of these developments. Our eyes are set on identifying and seizing the most promising investment avenues, ensuring that our clients ride the wave of prosperity in the ever-evolving stock market. Join us as we chart a course towards a future brimming with limitless possibilities!"
A. Balasubramanian, Managing Director & CEO, Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Ltd,
"The interim budget speech delivered by the finance minister of India clearly focusses on fiscal consolidation, infrastructure spending, consumption and capital expenditure. The government continues the path of fiscal consolidation with the fiscal deficit estimated to be 5.1% of GDP for the financial year 2025. Providing an interest free loan towards technology spending by the youth of our country is a positive for the growth momentum. Also, consumption would likely boost by focusing on the agri economy. Lastly, the capital expenditure by the government continues to drive the whole eco system for the overall growth momentum of the country."
Suyash Choudhary, Head - Fixed Income, Bandhan AMC
"The interim budget today took another big step forward in the remarkable journey of macro-economic stability that has been underway for some time now. We had dwelled on these in a recent communication including on the important implications that these may have for bond investors. While it was important to appreciate the context of the higher central government deficit of the past few years, it was nevertheless considered as probably the weakest aspect of India's overall macro-economic story. With the 80 bps fiscal consolidation on budgeted fiscal deficit between FY 24 to FY 25, and the finance minister's stated commitment to attain less than 4.5% deficit in FY 26 (implying at least another consolidation of 60 bps), India has now solidly ringfenced this aspect of our macro-economic story as well."
Dhawal Dalal, President & Chief Investment Officer- Fixed Income, Edelweiss MF
A very pragmatic & growth-oriented interim budget with continued focus on conservative revenue estimation and fiscal consolidation. The FM believes in under-promise and over-delivering on fiscal front. Lower borrowing in FY25 is expected to decline bond yields. This will be positive for the economy and will support in reaching our goal of $5T economy by end of 2027, in our view.
CA Aditya Sesh, Founder and managing director of Basiz Fund Service Private Limited who is also a Member of the Expert Committee in the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare in the Government of India.
"I think of this budget in two dimensions, one being political, which is most important given the election year, and much of the work done has been discussed. It focuses on performance rather than promises. One thing that struck me is that while free electricity has been discussed in some states, here it has been achieved with minimal impact on electricity-generating companies by utilizing solar rooftop resources, essentially providing up to 300 units of electricity to households. The fiscal deficit target, currently at 5.8%, is expected to decrease to 5.1%, primarily due to maintaining the expenditure target well and ensuring that revenue collection, especially tax collection, has been on or even exceeded targets most of the time, purely through compliance. I still remember the 2016 Budget, which had GST and sales tax at 85,000 crores per month, now doubling to 1,65,000 crores per month, so that's a significant jump. Income tax collection has tripled, indicating that compliance has been maintained without making too many changes to the laws.
Over the last 10 years, tax rates for corporates have been reduced from 30% to about 22%. The personal income tax exemption limit has increased from 2.5 lakhs to 7 lakhs. Capex has almost tripled; I think the economy is in very good shape. Capital markets are expected to rise, and India is looking very attractive in terms of growth. The P/E ratios are slightly premium, but that's because the growth is good, and the inflation management targets are at the desired levels, around 6% odd, matching the increases in GDP, so effectively, there would be no impact on real income."
Abbhinav R Jain, CFO, AdCounty Media
The budget's focus on buoying rural consumption by raising agricultural credit limits and PM Kisan payouts can unlock major growth opportunities for ecommerce companies in tier 2/3 regions. More money with rural consumers may drive online purchases of goods beyond just necessities.
Raghunandan Saraf, Founder and CEO, Saraf Furniture
While no major direct policy incentives were introduced for retail, income tax tweaks can improve sentiment and spending among urban middle income groups who form the core buying class for branded merchandise
Tejpal Singh Shekhawat, founder & CEO of Kalyanam Furniture
The interim budget speech glaringly missed the opportunity to extend supportive policies specifically around furthering digital infrastructure and online consumer adoption. This remains imperative for deepening ecommerce reach across India's villages.
Zameer Malik, CEO, Kulsum's Kaya Kalp
While certainly not a watershed event, the budget reaffirms the government's growth orientation amid a volatile global environment. The implied backdrop of stability and policy continuity remains a net positive for consumer facing sectors like retail and ecommerce in the long run.
Sahil Arya, co-founder of Fat Tiger
Clarity around potential crowding out effects of rising public capital expenditure will be key to assess implications on private corporate expenditure. If businesses delay spending to watch fiscal deficits, advertising and technology investments by ecommerce firms may take a hit.
Ridhima Kansal, director of Rosemoore
Measures aimed at improving women's participation in the rural workforce are a positive signal. More working women with financial autonomy can contribute significantly to the rise of women shoppers buying online, an important demographic.
Jaideep Mirchandani, Chairman Sky One.Sky One is an aviation solutions company headquartered in Sharjah
"Budget 2024 paints an optimistic picture for India's aviation and tourism sectors. The significant increase in the number of airports to 149 over the last decade and the targeted expansion of existing airports highlights the government's dedication to fostering growth in aviation. With orders for over 1,000 new aircraft, conducive policies for leasing the sector are ready to address the demand.
Furthermore, the government's attention to tourism projects in islands, including Lakshadweep, opens up exciting possibilities for both sectors. There's substantial potential in promoting tourism, especially spiritual tourism, and encouraging states to develop iconic tourist spots and launch new airlines on those routes is a welcome start.
Suman Bannerjee, CIO, Hedonova, a Paris based hedge fund.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted the transformative decade for the Indian economy, emphasizing the government's commitment to "sabka sath sabka vikas." The focus on Garib Kalyan and direct benefit transfers through PM Jandan accounts has resulted in substantial savings, redirecting funds to empower the poor. Acknowledging systemic inequalities, Sitharaman stressed on empowering the poor, women, youth, and farmers. Notable initiatives include crop insurance for farmers, housing under PM Awas Yojana for rural women, and a fiscal deficit target of 5.1% for FY25. The doubling of GST tax base and collections showcases economic resilience. Importantly, no proposed changes in tax rates were announced.
Abhishek Bisen, head - Fixed Income, Kotak Mahindra AMC quotes
Given this is an election year, the government prioritizing fiscal responsibility in its interim budget is commendable. The biggest win for the debt market:- Fiscal deficit of 5.1 % of GDP for FY24-25 was much lower than everyone expectation on street. This effectively translated in Gross Market Borrowing of Rs14.13 lakh crores and net borrowing of Rs 11.75 lakh crores. FY25 Market Borrowing looks manageable, thanks to reduced gross borrowing numbers and added comfort from potential foreign flows with inclusion in J P Morgan Emerging Market Bond Index. Importantly, the government maintained its focus on long-term growth by allocating a record high of more than Rs 11 lakh crore towards capital expenditure. This can be seen as disinflationary budget
Motilal Oswal, MD & CEO, Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd.
The government has presented a very prudent Budget/Vote-On-Account for FY24-25. In an election year where stakes are very high, government has resisted the temptation, once again, for populism and instead shown excellent strategic sense by opting to continue on the path of fiscal consolidation.
The government is building in a 10.5% nominal GDP growth for FY25, a healthy 12% growth in revenue receipts. However spending growth is just 6%, within which revenue spending is expected to grow just 3% while the more productive capex spending is expected to grow 17% to INR 11.1 Trillion
The government's commitment to a 4.5% Fiscal Deficit by FY26 is indeed commendable. Towards that effect, it has pencilled in a fiscal deficit of 5.1% for FY25, better than most economists' estimates. This augurs well for overall economic credit creation as indeed for inflation and private capex revival.
The 17% increase in Capital Expenditure allocation on the back of a 3x increase over FY19-24 (from INR 3 trillion to INR 9.5 Trillion) indicates the continued thrust of the government towards infrastructure creation and driving the private investment cycle.
What is a bit of a dampener, however is lack of any big push for consumption. Consumption has been weak, especially in Rural India, as indicated by corporate earnings for last few quarters. The budget doesn't provide any near-term solution for quick revival for consumption.
I continue to remain bullish in the medium to long term.
Manish Gunwani, Head - Equity, Bandhan AMC
"It is a fiscally prudent budget with conservative assumptions on tax revenues, nominal GDP etc. A big positive is the potential for interest rates to go down given the higher-than-expected drop in fiscal deficit. Overall we believe it enhances the macro stability of the economy."
Trideep Bhattacharya, President & Chief Investment Officer- Equities, Edelweiss MF
"In an election year, the budget adeptly strikes a balance, prioritizing sensibility over populism. It showcases India's unwavering commitment to infrastructure development, coupled with a steadfast adherence to fiscal prudence. This paves the way for sustained growth, steering the nation along the trajectory towards achieving a developed economy by 2047."
Chirag Mehta, CIO, Quantum AMC
"Prudent, not populist budget"
"There was an expectation that given it's an election year, the budget could tilt more populist with more support for rural sector. However, contrary to expectations, the government continues to be driven by development and fiscal prudence as the central focus. Given the economic growth momentum , there was need for assuring macroeconomic stability which has been judiciously crafted to give way for fiscal consolidation. The lower tax collection assumption could either be conservative or government signal to assume some growth moderation going forward. The government continues it capital expenditure spending with on Inclusive development with Agri, Infra (including housing) and Green ecosystem as the key thrust areas with an emphasis on Research and Technological developments. There was a need to support manufacturing momentum and way to revive rural economy. However, probably that could be part of the main budget that gets presented in July as government plans to showcase a pathway for Developed India."
Pankaj Pathak, Fund Manager- Fixed Income, Quantum AMC
"This is a very good budget for the bond market as the government chose fiscal prudence over populist spending. The budgeted fiscal deficit of 5.1% of GDP is lower than even the lowest of market estimates. Faster fiscal consolidation and consequent decline in the government's market borrowing should drive bond yields lower and bond prices higher. Another positive aspect is that the government has pegged only a moderate growth in the non-capex expenditure. This should keep inflation under check and provide enough headroom to the RBI to cut interest rates. We expect long term bonds to do well in 2024. Investors can capture this opportunity with dynamic bond funds which are invested in long term bonds."
Vishal Kapoor, CEO, Bandhan AMC on the Interim Budget 2024.
"The Interim-Budget 2024 emphasizes strategic continuity across multiple areas, avoids short-term populist measures and displays fiscal prudence with FY25 Fiscal Deficit pegged at 5.1%, and a modest borrowing program which bond markets should to be happy with. Growth in Capex and the focus on Infrastructure spend should continue to help macro growth drivers, with cautious assumptions for tax collections. With no significant changes in the Direct tax regime and the extension of current tax concessions for start-ups and international investors should help provide assurance and stability for markets and taxpayers."
Mr. Vivek Goel, Co-founder and Joint Managing Director of Tailwind Financial Services
The Interim Budget demonstrates a strong commitment to fiscal prudence while simultaneously driving capital expenditure, according to . Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman adhered to the tradition of delivering a concise speech, lasting under an hour, just before the upcoming elections. No changes in tax rates on direct and indirect taxes were announced, likely reserved for the post-election budget.
Despite the absence of tax rate adjustments, the budget's macro perspective received positive acclaim, exceeding market expectations for fiscal consolidation. The fiscal deficit for FY24, at 5.8%, surpassed the budgeted 5.9% and the expected 6%, contributing to market optimism. Notably, the glide path for FY26 remains below 4.5%, and the budget sets a target of 5.1% for FY25, lower than the 5.3% anticipated by markets, marking a significant victory for maintaining fiscal discipline and buoying bond markets.
In terms of revenue estimates, the conservative 11.9% growth in tax collection for the upcoming fiscal year instills confidence in meeting fiscal deficit projections. Non-tax receipts, particularly dividends from RBI & PSUs, are set at 1.5 lakh crore for FY24 and maintained for FY25, indicating a robust outlook for the coming year.
The capital expenditure allocation for FY25 stands at Rs 11.11 lakh crore, reflecting an 11.1% increase over FY24. This substantial investment, especially in rail with an earmarked expenditure of 2.55 lakh crore, underscores the balanced fiscal approach. Further, the emphasis on rail and air connectivity is reinforced by plans to convert 40,000 rail bogies into Vande Bharat standards, the announcement of three major rail corridors, and the introduction of new air routes under the UDAN scheme.
Despite several positive aspects, there is a slight sense of disappointment regarding anticipated tax relief and a boost in consumer spending, particularly in light of the approaching general election. This sentiment may have a marginal adverse effect on consumer stocks.
In summary, the Interim Budget's key takeaways include a commitment to fiscal prudence, sustained growth in capital expenditure with a focus on infrastructure and connectivity, and a deliberate avoidance of populist measures leading up to the general elections.
Swapnil Shah, Director-Research, StoxBox
As expected, the interim budget did not usher any surprises with no myopic measures announced. The government continued with its focus on infrastructure and increased the capex outlay by 11% covering railways, ports and aviation sectors. The government has walked the tight rope and followed a further fiscal consolidation path by promising to manage its finances well for FY25. The government did not bow down to the populist measures in the election year and kept the tax regime unchanged. Our overall reading is that the government has shown prudence in managing the various facets of economy and remains committed to the long-term vision of making India a developed economy by 2047.
Budget Quote by Head of Market Perspectives & Research, SAMCO Securities
FY25 gross market borrowing is pegged at Rs 14.13 lakh crore is lesser compared to current fiscal year budgeted borrowing of 17.86 lakh crore. Lesser borrowing by the government will be beneficial for the private sector and households as it will put more money on the table for them. The India 10 Year Bond Yields slipped below the 7.1% triggering a sharp rally in the bond markets. This will also pave the way for RBI to start cutting rates sooner compared to other economies.
Dr. V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist, Geojit Financial Services.
"The hallmark of this interim Budget is its fiscal rectitude. The fact that the Government has prioritised fiscal consolidation over populism on the eve of general elections is commendable. The fiscal deficit numbers of 5.8 % in the revised estimates for FY24 and 5.1% for FY25 are better than the most optimistic expectations. This is very good news for the economy and consequently for the market. The boost to housing is another important proposal from the market perspective since this will benefit industries like cement, steel and all construction related segments."
Pralay Mondal, MD & CEO of CSB Bank.
The budget is fully aligned to vision 2047 with GDP defined as Governance , Development & Performance on the principle of reform, perform and transform. The path to fiscal consolidation with fiscal deficit pegged at 5.1% shows government commitment to its promises . Overall a fascinating budget covering all sections of society especially towards the research and innovation initiatives by our youth.
Moin Ladha, Partner, Khaitan & Co.
Foreign Trade - "India's entry into the Kartavya Kal has been announced with the India Middle East-Europe trade corridor which supports India's unfettered commitment to national development and ambitious vision to transform into a developed nation by the centenary of its independence in 2047. This corridor is expected to positively impact and facilitate world trade and India's trade in GCC region."
MSME - "Keeping up with the promise of First Developed India (FDI), the 2024 Union Budget has prioritized strengthening and aiding the MSME sector to compete in the global market by meeting their investment needs, improving/ advancing the technology and liberalizing the regulatory space. With India being the hub of global trade, empowering small and medium businesses to compete in the global market was a much awaited move."
Raj Ramachandran, Partner, JSA Advocates and Solicitors:
"The vote on account budget typically is expected to be and comes around as populist. However with the incumbent government, it has not always been the case, with the focus being on specific areas for development. Acronyms are also a regular twist; the new one being FDI - First Develop India, with the focus on bilateral trade treaties to encourage and boost investment. As expected therefore, there is no proposal for change in taxation rates or import duties. Tax benefits available to startups upto March 31, 2024 is proposed to be extended to March 31, 2025. Additionally, investments by pension funds and sovereign wealth funds will also continue to get the tax benefit upto March 31, 2025. Benefits may also be extended to IFSC to keep the interest continuing in the concept and the likely encouragement from the government in the long term."
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