India: No tax cuts, fiscal sops in Interim Budget
Pranab Mukherjee, the stand-in Prime Minister and Finance Minister of India, delivered the Interim Budget speech in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
The Finance Minister, though, did not announce any major sops for ailing industries or changes in tax structure and stuck to highlighting the achievements of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
The country’s stock markets too took a nosedive during Mukherjee’s speech continued — both the Nifty and Sensex were deeply in the red. The markets may have reacted on Pranab Mukherjee’s comment that a fresh fiscal stimulus measure may be required during the next full Budget in mid year — the statement dashed all market hopes of any fiscal measure in this Interim Budget. “The plan expenditure for FY09-10 may have to be increased substantially if there is need of additional stimulus,” Mukherjee said.
Mukherjee started off the speech by pointing out that the UPA government had succeeded in implementing the promises outlined in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP).