Economists React To Budget 2021: Social media is abuzz with discussions around the Union Budget 2021 presented Monday by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. With no significant changes to the income tax slabs, the budget proposed several reliefs for tax returns and aimed at increasing foreign investments.
Focused on benefits for women, Sitharaman announced the expansion of the Ujjwala scheme for concessional gas cooking pipelines in rural India by a margin of one crore beneficiaries. Read about it here. Additionally, she noted that women construction and building workers working night-shifts will be provided necessary protective measures. Read key highlights of the Union Budget 2021 here.
Economists React To Budget 2021:
Read some reactions by noted politicians and economists below:
1. Professor Shamika Ravi
Shamika Ravi, non-resident Senior Fellow at Washington’s Brookings Institution and a former member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, said that though the Union Budget makes promising claims, there was a need to dwell on the finer points of the proposals.
1) Focus on health & infrastructure
2) Greater transparency on fiscal situation (of much concern earlier)
3) Lower regulatory burden (taxes)
4) Credible (?) move to privatize sick PSU/PSB….
So far, so good. Now let’s read the fine print. #Budget2021— Prof Shamika Ravi (@ShamikaRavi) February 1, 2021
2. Gita Gopinath
Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund Gita Gopinath hasn’t yet remarked on the Budget proposals. However, earlier last week, she had recommended that pandemic support measures must be extended and that a push must be given to health and infrastructure. “There are needs to make more public investment. That would be another area that would require thrust,” she was quoted saying.
Sitharaman announced big allocations to health and infra in Parliament.
3. Mrin Agarwal
One of the key highlights of the budget was the constancy of the income tax slab. Mrin Agarwal, Founder Director at Finsafe & Co and one of India’s leading advisors, said that though the Budget did not directly make vast changes to the tax structure for the individual taxpayer, the Agri cess of Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol and Rs 4 on diesel and other such changes would impact the common citizen.
Let’s stop feeling happy about taxes not going up. The Agri cess on oils, lentils, biscuits, petrol etc etc etc is going to impact the aam aadni #Budget2021— Mrin Agarwal (@mrinagarwal) February 1, 2021
4. Rupa Rege Nitsure
Rupa Nitsure, chief economist at L&T Financial Holdings, was quoted saying that “A strong capex push of Rs 5.54 trillion is growth positive. This, combined with the enhanced spending on the health sector, will go a long way in supporting economic recovery.”
She however mentioned that actual revenue generation during the next financial year will be significant in improving India’s fiscal scene.
Politicians React To Budget 2021:
1. Smriti Irani
Textiles Minister and Women & Child Development Minister Smriti Irani lauded the budget for its announcement on the Mega Investment Textiles Parks (MITRA), which she said “will be a game changer for the Indian Textiles Industry.” These parks are positioned to be set up over 1000 acres of land with state-of-the-art facilities in order to make India a hub for manufacturing and exports.
Emphasis on state-of-the-art infrastructure through MITRA will give our domestic manufacturers a level-playing field in the international textiles market & pave the way for India to become a global champion of textiles exports across all segments. #AatmanirbharBharatKaBudget— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) February 1, 2021
2. Priyaka Chaturvedi
Priyanka Chaturvedi, the Deputy Leader of Shiv Sena and Member of the Standing Committee of Commerce, critiqued the Union Budget did not have “much for women except the lip service towards existing schemes” and was largely committed to meet privatisation targets.
-No tax relief for salaried class— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) February 1, 2021
-Nothing much for women except the lip service towards existing schemes
-Nothing much fr children who lost out on their studies due to exacerbated digital divide
What we have
-new Privatisation targets
-manifesto promises to election going states
PM Narendra Modi in an official address following the Budget stated, “This budget has categorically made announcements to ease and make the lives of women better. Several systematic changes have also been made, which are set to help growth and job creation in the country.”