Retail majors would be a disappointed lot.
Contrary to expectations, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee did not make any major announcement to boost the sector. Experts pointed out that Mukherjee focussed only on growth and stability, while steering clear of any instant actionable points for the retail sector.
Organised retail is expected to create about 1.7 million jobs in the next five years.
“The sector has already been under severe stress amid rude inflationary pressures,” said Purnendu Kumar, senior vice-president (retail), Technopak Advisors, a retail consultancy. “The government could have introduced better policies to control fiscal deficit and inflation to distress the consumer’s pocket. The budget is an average one.”
Retailers were hoping a strong set of policies to boost demand and consumption.
“Schemes such as NREGA have been helpful as it boosted consumption for the rural population but this budget has failed to expand this consumer base,” said Kumar.
“We are hugely disappointed as there is no significant announcement for the retail industry,” said Vikaas Gutgutia, managing director and founder, Ferns N Petals.
“With the increase in service tax as well as excise duty slab, the ladder of inflation will shoot further.”