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Budget Review & Investment Strategy

The Budget for FY 2018 was presented amidst certain market apprehensions – will it play the populist card ahead of elections (higher revenue expenditure vs. capital expenditure), will fiscal consolidation roadmap be followed, will there be some kind of tax on long term capital gains, will it tax the affluent more to fund giveaways, will some kind of Basic Income formula be introduced in addition to current welfare programmes and so on.

 

The biggest positive, in final analysis, has been that none of the market apprehensions materialized in any significant manner. Beyond that, the budget doesn’t materially change our assessment of the growth and inflation outcomes for the coming fiscal year. But from a medium-term perspective, the reiteration of the commitment towards fiscal consolidation is a positive development. The commitment to lower India's public debt to GDP to 60% by 2023 provides a clear roadmap for the path of fiscal consolidation over the medium term.