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Who said what

01 February, 2017

Finance minister Arun Jaitley’s fourth budget drew mixed reactions on Wednesday. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the budget for 2017-18, opposition leaders criticised it. Here’s a quick take on reactions to the budget.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The housing sector stands to gain immensely from this budget. This budget is devoted to the well-being of the villages, farmers and the poor. The government’s aim is to double the income of farmers. The merger of the railway budget with the general budget will give an impetus to the transport sector’s growth.

Chemicals and fertilisers minister Ananth Kumar

Budget 2017 is a transformative one. It’s a step towards cleaning the whole political system, we welcome it.

Road transport minister Nitin Gadkari

It’s a historic and important budget and will have a long-term impact:

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu

Path-breaking budget, a new era has begun.

Rahul Gandhi, Congress vice president

We were expecting fireworks, instead got a damp squib. We will support any step to clean political funding.

Renuka Chowdhury, Congress

Nothing on defence spending; How are they fighting #UPElections? Did they get donations in cheque or digital payment?

Manish Tewari, Congress leader

The budget numbers don’t seem to add up, as there is huge expansion on govt spending on schemes.

Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena leader

What is the need to present the Budget every year? Were all announcements of last year’s budget fulfilled?

What India Inc says

DS Rawat, general secretary, Assocham

Consider it mixed budget. Industry hoped a lot more for promotion of investment but I think the finance minister did whatever was possible.

Rakesh Bharti Mittal, vice chairman, Bharti Enterprises

Proposals related to infrastructure, electoral funding and railways are steps in the right direction. Jaitley sought to put more money into the hands of the taxpayers and that would rev up consumption.

Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, Confederation of Indian Industry

The budget is pro-market and pro-poor. Jaitley has been extremely prudent despite increasing spending.

Vijay Thadani, co-founder, NIIT Ltd

Jaitley could have been bolder in the budget. “There were a lot of hopes. Higher larger allocation to education and research would have been useful.

What investors, bankers and lawyers feel

Girish Vanvari, head of tax, KPMG in India

Budget 2017 is a fine balancing act, with fiscal prudence, directional spending and no surprises on the taxation front. This should lead the country on a sustainable growth path.

Aakash Choubey, partner, Khaitan & Co

The move to abolish the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) is positive and may give a fillip to foreign direct investment, but a lot will depend on a consistent roadmap that the government should lay down.

Khushru Jijina, managing director, Piramal Finance Pvt Ltd

A reduction in the holding period for immovable assets for long-term capital gains from three years to two years will aid secondary transactions in the real estate sector. The one-year relief in tax on completed yet unsold inventory and the deferral of tax payable in joint development agreement transactions to the year of completion will give developers breathing space.

Mahesh Singhi, MD, Singhi Advisors

Abolition of FIPB is a great move. Even a sensitive sector like defence would come under the automatic route in some shape. It will lead to elimination of red tape and speed up the process.

Prakash Nene, MD, Multiples Alternate Asset Management Pvt Ltd

The budget is a mixed bag for private equity investors as several of our demands need clarification. The norms for safe harbour route need to be less stringent to be effective.

Vikram Gupta, founder and managing partner, IvyCap Ventures

Fintech companies should benefit from the increased focus on digital payments.

L Badri Narayan, partner at law firm Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan Attorneys

The budget is fairly neutral with the continuing theme of widening tax base and plugging tax evasion. It would have been interesting if there was more clarity on how the government wished to utilise the results of demonetisation.

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