The budget presented by Pranab Mukherjee today has been humourless and disappointingly bereft of Tagore quotes. Quotes from Kautilya are neither here nor there. Stock market also is not humoured. However, the negative reaction of Stock Indices has been overdone and we can expect a sharp pullback even in the course of the day today.
Changes in direct taxes are revenue-neutral whereas indirect taxes are amended to fetch Rs.2000 crore more. This from an economic viewpoint is regressive. Fiscal deficit of 6.8% will not permit reduction in interest rates. Treasury profits of banks will be hit.
In retrospect, this was an eminently expectable budget though few expected such a budget.