The US industry has said India's Budget for 2012-13 lacks the much-needed "game changing reforms" and called for a 'transparent' taxation policy to attract more foreign investment.
India's economic growth will gather speed over the next two years, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Friday, but question marks loomed over the government's ability to push through reforms in critical areas to spur investments.
India is set to create its own versions of China-style mega industrial cities peppered across the country equipped with production units, public utilities, residential areas, schools and hospitals, which the government hopes will catapult India into a manufacturing hotspot over the next 15 years.
The infrastructure sector including power and roads clearly emerged as the two thrust areas in finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s budget speech on Friday.
The government expects to raise about Rs. 40,000 crore in the financial year ending March 2013 through sale of spectrum and fees that incumbent telecom service providers such as Bharti Airtel, Vodaofne and Idea will be required to pay for the additional spectrum they own.
Two of India's biggest tax reform initiatives-the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) - has entered the final leg, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee hinted on Friday.
Notwithstanding the global economic slump, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has said that exports have grown significantly in the last few years.
The government is hopeful of eventually clearing the path to 51% foreign direct investment (FDI) in the retail sector through a broad consensus on the issue in consultation with state governments. However, the ground-level action is stronger in the case of aviation.
The government has set a target of Rs. 30,000 crore that it expects to earn by selling equity in state-owned companies in 2012-13. The stage appears set for the government to press the accelerator on the disinvestment programme including big-ticket stake sales in companies such as NTPC, Coal India and NMDC.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee pegged the fiscal deficit for 2012-13 at 5.1% of the gross domestic product (GDP), lower than the current year's revised 5.9%, but economists said that government borrowings despite divestment of equity in state companies and spectrum sale are still in a worrisome zone.
Clearly stung by rising public outrage over corruption, the UPA government is set to unveil white paper on black money outlining the broad contours of policies to tackle the scourge and the measures that it plans to take.
The Rs. 2,216.69-crore allocation in the Union Budget has come as big relief for the cash-strapped Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
The Delhi government's inability to utilise the budgetary allocation in 2011-12 fiscal has cost it dearly.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee set gross tax receipts in the fiscal year starting in April at 10.8 trillion ($214.35 billion), total expenditure at 14.9 trillion rupees and net market borrowing at 4.8 trillion rupees.
With several defence deals including the one to procure 126 combat aircraft for the IAF expected to be clinched this year, the Defence Budget was today substantially hiked by more than 17% to Rs. 1,93,407 crore from last year's Rs. 1,64,415 crore.