The cold response even to some of the populist aspects in this year's budget appears to be the result of an overall negativity that has gripped the UPA-II government.
Reeling under the impact of corruption allegations and mal-governance, Pranab Mukherjee's budget is sensitive to this aspect and has tried to respond by promising improvement in governance and a slew of anti-corruption measures.
"Our effort now will be directed towards better targeting and leakage proof delivery of the subsidies," Mukherjee said.
He also promised a white paper on black money - an issue on which not only the Opposition but even the Supreme Court had put the government on the mat.
On the one hand political constrains held back radical reforms, on the other the scope for announcing any new social sector schemes - a hallmark of UPA budgets - was also limited this year.
Welfare politics may not have saturated as yet, but has become routine.
This is perhaps the reason why Mukherjee's commitment to underwrite a food security act, a new urban health mission and enhancement of several existing schemes could not create much excitement.