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The Union Budget for FY2012 is a growth oriented budget that seeks to build on Indias strengths and to address the challenges that we face. In line with this approach, the budget seeks to build on our growth drivers through infrastructure and social sector development, address challenges of food inflation and of fiscal management and to promote inclusive growth. Overall, the budget focuses on areas requiring significant investments, while seeking to take forward the process of fiscal consolidation. The priority accorded to achieving greater economic inclusion and addressing the challenges that we face will stand the economy in good stead as it reverts to a sustained high growth path. The budget has highlighted some challenges in the Indian economy which need to be tackled urgently. One challenge is fiscal consolidation ensuring stability of the growth process. The budget has moved into inflation control mode by focusing on management of the supply side and being in sync with a tightening monetary policy. The thrust to rice producing Eastern region, pulses, coarse grains, edible oils and vegetables along with support for storage and transportation will improve agricultural supplies. The FM has thus presented a finely nuanced budget against the background of growth gaining traction but inflation also getting more entrenched while material economic and policy risks abound in the global economy. The budget has sought to give a fillip to the growth momentum, catalyse investment in infrastructure, power and rural sectors, while at the same time ensuring fiscal consolidation. In sum, the budget is development oriented with a range of growth promoting initiatives. Neeraj Swaroop, regional chief executive, Standard Chartered Bank This was an important Budget as the Indian economy is facing a variety of socioeconomic issues which needed to be addressed. The finance minister has touched upon several key issues such as the fiscal deficit, infrastructure development, and

social spending. It has also supported growth by not raising taxes and raising the exemption limit on personal income. For the financial sector, steps to raise the limit on foreign institutional investments in infrastructure bonds and to allow these institutions to invest in domestic mutual funds are hugely positive for encouraging international capital flows into India. Sajjan Jindal, VC and MD, JSW Steel: Finance Minister has struck a fine balance between growth and inflation and has also given a strong indication of continuing on the reform path. FM has rightly resisted the temptation to increase the excise duty thereby giving out positive signals to the industry and to the India growth story. FM has shown the courage to tackle the root cause of the malaise of black money. Habil Khorakiwala, chairman, Wockhardt: The budget has a major focus on agriculture, infrastructure, education and banking and finance but it is a disappointment for healthcare which is a key sector that requires a major thrust from the government. The decision to implement 5% tax on hospital and diagnostic services will make healthcare more expensive. The lower fiscal deficit target is commendable. The cut in many import duties can act as a step to check inflation. The GDP target of 9% looks good and realistic given the growth. Pharmaceuticals The pharma industry was not very happy with the Budget proposals. It was expecting lots of incentives and tax reliefs for the future growth and to be competitive in the domestic as well as overseas markets. The industry now hopes for some relief measures to be included before the passage of the Budget. Vinita Singhania, president, Cement Manufacturers Association and MD, JK Lakshmi Cement: From the perspective of the cement industry, the budget has been quite a disappointment.The disappointment gets compounded because the Finance Minister in his speech had mentioned relief to the cement industry by way of changing the basis of levying of excise duty. Govind Shrikhande, CCA and MD, Shoppers Stop

This was supposed to be a transition budget as explained by the honorable finance minister. But looks more like a `khatta` budget. Although it has a lot of announcements on GST, DTC, UDI- it has very little to show for the retail industry. Sandeep Reddy, MD, Gayatri Projects The finance minister`s budget for 2011-12 is expected to boost investment in the infrastructure sector, which will trigger economy on a growth trajectory to achieve 9% of growth rate. The proposal to introduce special infrastructure debt funds to attract foreign financing in infrastructure will certainly help the robust growth of infrastructure sector in the days to come.

P Kishore, managing director, Everonn Education We congratulate the finance minister for increasing the allocation for education sector by a good 24% to Rs 520.57 billion and that of Sarva Sikha Abhiyan by 40% at Rs 21 billion will give the much needed boost to the education sector. Education forms the backbone of economic development. Peter Kerkar, director, Cox and Kings The increase in service tax for air travel will not have a major impact on travel as the travel industry is growing at double digits and the hike is minimal especially for domestic travel. Air fares have been climbing for the last three months due to increase in fuel prices, but this has not deterred passengers from travelling.``

Kiran Majumdar Shaw, chairman and MD, Biocon The Minister has totally excluded the promising Biotechnology sector, failing to make provisions for the funding the industry requires. No steps have been taken to enable scientific and technological advances or boost innovation. This Budget has not taken any imaginative decisions that can make a difference to India, its citizens and its industry. I would rate this budget no higher than 5.5 on a

scale of 1 to 10. The UPA government will have to do a lot more to supercharge India and enable inclusive growth.

SANJAYA BARU: The finance minister himself claimed that this was not a Budget speech in which he was coming forward with major initiatives as such but he was making use of the opportunity of an improved growth performance to manage his fisc, reduce the revenue and fiscal deficit, to bring about transparency in tax administration and to initiate steps toward tax reform and introduction of goods and services tax as well as financial sector reforms, and hopefully a greater opening up of the economy with foreign funds flowing into infrastructure and mutual funds. It meets my expectations, but not my hopes! PARTHASARATHY SHOME: I think at the broader macro level, I would say that the way the projections have been made in terms of GDP, its quite optimistic, or rather unexplained. Because, if I look at how 2010-11 turned out, the rate of growth of agriculture was at so high a level that it is completely out of any trend on agricultural growth rates. this is a bit of a rosy picture in terms of our future growth.