02 Feb 2018 18:08 IST

Playing to the vote bank

From a pre-election perspective it's a balanced Budget but will it foster economic growth?

On a personal level — as an SME — and taking my pre-budget expectations into account, I was of the view that we need a budget that would rationalise the tax slabs for companies in the sub- ₹100 crore bracket. Respite came with the declaration in the reduction of corporate tax to 25 per cent for companies with revenue up to ₹250 crore.

However, on a larger level, if the Budget is any indication of intent, then the government’s stance is clear — they will play to the vote bank. I appreciate the intent to provide universal healthcare, the interest in the ‘bottom of the pyramid’, and the pro- kisaan initiatives but what about the aam insaan? Bereft of any benefit for the salaried middle class, the push for long-term capital gains to be taxed further highlights the skewed intent in favour of the vote bank.

From a pre-election perspective I would say the Budget is balanced but will it foster economic growth, is debatable.

(The author is the Founder and Chairperson, Stellar Search)