Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today presented the union budget for the year 2019-20, aimed at boosting infrastructure and foreign investment. This budget was the first since Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to power for a second time.
While there were no additional breaks announced in income taxes for the middle class, the government announced a slew of incentives for those looking to buy affordable homes and electric vehicles. Ms Sitharaman also announced new levies of Rs. 2 per litre on petrol and diesel - a move that instantly drew opposition criticism. The country's first full-time Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman delivered one of longest budget speeches at 2 hours 17 minutes.NDTV's Prannoy Roy and a panel of experts bring you the key takeaways from this year's Union Budget:
Dr Prannoy Roy and his team of experts talk about the link between the Economic Survey and the Union Budget.What was the state of economy before the budget? Dr Roy asks senior journalist TN Ninan
Nirmala Sitharaman had a tough ask on the economy and the budget as well, says TN Ninan. The interim budget put forward revenue targets using revised estimates last year. Last year's base almost collapsed, he said.
At 8%, it will take 9 years to reach the $5 trillion mark, says Dr Roy.
Real income won't go to $5 trillion, he said.
Very tough to change the growth of agriculture, which grows at 3% every year, says Dr Roy.
Shamika Ravi, member of PM's Economic Advisory Council says to double farmer income, the farmer population has to be half.
We have consistently been thinking of growing economy without considering needs of people, says Yamini Iyer, president of Centre for Policy Research.
Challenge of MSMEs is how to strengthen the manufacturing sector. How to encourage Indian manufacturer, she says.Budget 2019: Dr Roy asks panelists about borrowing from overseas
Savings have gone down, says Ila Patnaik, senior economist. There are policies encouraging foreign portfolios, Ms Patnaik said. Debt was considered more dangerous than foreign portfolios, she said.
We will issue dollar-denominated sovereign debt, the finance minister said. This is a big thing, Ms Patnaik said.
How much money will come in like this, asks Dr Roy.
What we're comfortable with, is Current Account Deficit, Ms Patnaik said. You want investments, so you might be comfortable with 3-4% of capital flows, she added.
Since domestic savings have fallen, private business can't borrow, says TN Ninan. So private investments move in and government savings fall, he said.
Is it a slippery path, asked Dr Roy.
Arvind Vimani says household investment in structures has gone down. Basically, invest directly in housing, etc, has gone down. Black money is connected with this, Arvind Vimani said.Budget 2019: What NDTV's Prannoy Roy and his team of experts are discussing todayBudget 2019: The more the world becomes familiar with India, the better it is for us: Ila Patnaik, senior economist
Many emerging economies are able to borrow in their own currencies. More world becomes familiar with India, the better it is for us, says Ila Patnaik.Budget 2019: Dr Prannoy Roy asks if investment will get a boost
With trouble of bad assets, this budget does something to address the issue. On banks, it will put Rs. 17,000 crore in capital. There are other financial sector instruments, says TN Ninan.Budget 2019: Dr Prannoy Roy asks experts on NBFCs and repairing the financial sector, related to boosting investment.
There is an attempt in this budget to deal with financial sector because it is a constraint on economy, says TN Ninan.
Not too many people noticed Ms Sitharaman talking of depositories, which is who holds bond. The government bond market and private bond market. This is a step in right direction. It helps us move in right direction, says Ila Patnaik.Budget 2019: Dr Prannoy Roy asks about the financial sector mess, ILF&S
Mukesh Bhutani, Tax Expert, says the financial sector mess is because of a number of issues. The NPA solution is not sorted out. It's a significant work-in-progress, resulting in enormous credit squeeze (bad loans), says Mr Bhutani.
Now there is conservativeness at regulator's end. There is an overhang in regulatory controls, says Mr Bhutani.
Is it only ILF&S, Dr Roy asks Shamika Ravi.
She said it's a systematic issue.
Dr Prannoy Roy talks of how KCR's Telangana budget was responsible for his win in the elections.Budget 2019: Dr Prannoy Roy talks of cashless economy and transparency of budget
Mukesh Bhutani says notes ban and IBC are moves to transparency. We could see re-emergence of banking tax.
Government says businesses will go more digital on transactions. Debate over GST disputes are mostly about cash transactions.
Government will be able to track these transactions.Will we see change in agrarian problem, asks Dr Prannoy Roy to Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog
This budget has substantial moves over these sectors. Privatisation of railways was unheard of before, investment in sunrise industries will also take place, says Rajiv Kumar.
Mention about zero budget natural farming will bring down cost in agriculture to a third of what they are, he says.
Investment regime for oil and natural gas sector will be greatly liberalised.
There is big thrust in attracting private investment.
New education policy is put out, but not clear how government teachers teach, says TN Ninan.
Of 44 entities we recommended for disinvestment, 24 had been approved. Political statement had been made, says Rajiv Kumar. There are vested interests but this time it's clear that this will happen, said Rajiv Kumar.Budget met expectations, said Ila Patnaik
The budget met expectations, says Ila Patnaik, considering the little time Nirmala Sitharaman had, she added.
It was an excellent budget, given the slowdown and time, says Shamika Ravi.