The interim budget presented by Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram had a lacklustre response from the industry who termed it more of an ‘election manifesto’ and a ‘moderate’ budget. Some even questioning the fiscal deficit figures.
In fact, many of the chambers did not have any post-budget discussions. And, many of the panelists did not turn up for the discussion organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). During the FICCI panel discussion here, experts hailed the government’s achievement in agriculture by increasing the foodgrain production, but were not enthused by the finance minister’s claim on fiscal deficit.
Former Union revenue secretary M R Sivaraman said the fiscal deficit figures may seem good but a closer look at it may prove otherwise. “The fiscal deficit was contained at 4.1 per cent but there was no mention about the components which contributed to this inflation,” he said.
The former bureaucrat also hit out at the Union government saying, while the State governments across India have budget surplus of 3 per cent, but the Union government is showing a deficit of 4.1 per cent.
The Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry stated that the budget was along expected lines. Being an interim budget, there were no great surprises nor disappointments, said MCCI president T Shivaraman.
“The excise rate cuts announced, though has come a bit late, will provide some respite to the manufacturing sector, more particularly, the automobile sector which is reeling under great pressure,” he stated.
Hindustan Chamber of Commerce said the interim budget was moderate in approach as many new changes cannot be expected.
President of HCC Hasmukhlal D Vora said the measure to decrease the excise duty on automobile sector and allied industries to revive the manufacturing sector was a good step.