The budget can be a joy to behold. The good part here is that the Finance Minister has not made exaggeratedly optimistic projections, and, therefore, the scope for disappointment could be reduced.
- Bank loans for the infra area to be excluded from CRR and SLR. This should decrease the cost of funds for these organisations and hopefully will increase the infrastructure.
- Financial Year 2015 fiscal deficit target at 4.1 per cent, FY16 at 3.6 per cent.
- International institutional investors’ capital gains to be charged and not business income.
- Tax-pass through allowed for real estate, infrastructure investment trusts to avoid double taxation.
- Power plants are running operationally in March 2015 to get enough coal supply.
- Tax holiday for power generation companies extended till 2017.
- Subsidy expenses are estimated at Rs 2.5 Lakh Crore, almost the same as in the interim Budget.
- FDI in the insurance sector insurance from 26% to 49%.
- I-T exemption deadline hiked to Rs 2.5 lakh for those under 60 years and up to Rs 3 lakh for senior voters.
- Divestment targets are not very aggressive at Rs 43,425 crore. This suggests that the government is not relying massively on divestment to bridge the fiscal deficit.
- Budgetary provision for Pooled Municipal Debt Obligation enhanced from Rs 5000 crores to Rs 50,000 crores to promote and finance infrastructure projects in urban areas on a shared risk basis.
- No move to repeal retrospective tax amendments
- No clear plan to reduce subsidies.
- No clear strategy to recapitalize PSU banks or take the NPA problem
- No reduction in gold import duty.
- No clear timeline for implementation of GST
- No mention of GAAR
- Rs.200 crores set for Sardar Patel’s statue.