Economists offer mixed views on Budget

Economists have offered mixed views on the Budget with some going public with their disappointment for not taking adequate measures to boost growth, while others said it is on expected lines.
“In the back drop of low growth and calls for explicit stimulus to pump-prime the economy, the budget disappoints on many counts again,” small-sized private sector lender RBL Bank’s economist Rajni Thakur said.
Acknowledging multiple spending announcements on health, rural, education and infrastructure sectors, she said the actual expenditure will only be marginally higher and hence, the multiplier effect will be muted.
However, Kotak Mahindra Bank’s Upasna Bhardwaj said fiscal posturing is on expected lines and pointed out to the 10% nominal GDP growth target as a factor which will aid sentiment.
The many income tax tweaks should help in boosting consumer confidence and demand, raising hopes of for growth revival, she added.
However, Thakur doubted the same, stating that two tax regimes with optionality for personal tax, as in case of corporate taxes, only makes the structure “more complicated”.
Domestic brokerage firm Geojit Financial Service’s economist Deepthi Mary Mathew also said the budget does not meet expectations.
“For consumption revival, the finance minister mainly focused in the adoption of new tax regime. It needs to be looked into whether the new tax regime will be enough in reviving the consumer spending,” she said.
The budget was presented at a time when the growth rate is set to slip to a decadal low of 5 per cent in FY20, and efforts are on from all ends to help revive growth process.
The equity markets have reacted negatively to the budget and closed over 2.5% down.