The FM has delivered a bold, far sighted budget that will help raise the country’s profile as an investment destination. It aims to make structural changes that will help drive higher corporate investment on a sustainable basis. These include the commitment to simplification and rationalization of the taxation structure and setting a clear roadmap of reform for the next four years. However, the short term impact arising out of increase in surcharge and service tax are matter of concern. The move to encourage use of financial products and services among a larger proportion of the population as well as the efforts towards monetization of gold are great building block to build a vibrant and deep financial services sector. The government’s moves to encourage fund managers to relocate to India will also drive greater integration of the India into the global financial services economy.
The focus on education through greater investment in institutions of higher learning as well as in skill development and the financial support for students will also help India capture its demographic dividend. Another important signal is the ongoing commitment to Digital India which will result in important opportunities for the IT sector. Extending the digital financial infrastructure through its support for greater use of payment systems like Rupay as well as the creation of a widespread broadband infrastructure will spur India’s aspiration to become a “Smart Nation”.