Mumbai, Feb 28 (PTI) India Inc broadly welcomed the absence of any harsh moves in the Budget presented by Finance Minister P Chidambaram today and termed it as "balanced" and "purposeful" but maintained a lot more could have been done. "It's a sigh of relief. He could have been harsher on tax and the populist schemes would have been much more... My worry in an election year was that he will throw out lot more doles," M&M Non-Executive Director Arun Nanda said here. TCS Chief Executive N Chandrasekaran welcomed the clarity on taxation, saying "rules regarding development centres and safe harbor rules are very welcome".
"The Budget has balanced near-term priorities and long term growth drivers," ICICI Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Chanda Kochhar said and welcomed the commitment shown towards fiscal consolidation. Calling the budget "very purposeful", Tata Chemicals MD R Mukundan said it has addressed all the necessary issues, including some on taxation like the GST. Asked how an investor will look at the country after Chidambaram's comments on retrospective taxation, Mukundan said, "It is very important that he started with a commitment with an attempt to deliver on the ground and has spelt out what is the mechanism of delivery. At the end of the day, all of us have to legitimately pay the tax dues to government."
"The positive in the Budget is that no negatives have come in," Ramesh Chandak, Managing Director of EPC major KEC International, said. He, however, gave a long list of unmet expectations like announcements or clarity on upping the electricity generation capacity, tackling transmission and distribution issues, land acquisition and the ironing out issues on the environment clearances front. In what can come as a surprise, the industry captains were not upset over the proposal for extra surcharges for individuals and companies whose incomes are above a threshold. "During periods of stress, some of the people who have greater means will have to pay more and that is a welcome step," Mukundan said. Chidambaram's other moves which won appreciation from the industry include the move to get donations to incubators inside academic institutions under the corporate social responsibility spends. Mastek Founder Ashank Desai said the support to the incubators and encouragement to angel investors will help the IT sector.
He, however, sounded concerned that there were no announcements on e-governance or higher education aspects. Aptech MD Ninad Karpe said the Budget is "high on intention but low on delivery", sounding skeptical of the repeated mentions on skills development and suggesting that meeting the target would be an uphill task.