Let’s have a look at some of the finer points from the Budget today:
Start to finish: Arun Jaitley began his Budget speech in Parliament at sharp 11.03 am and ended at 12.45 pm. Chaos prevailed in Parliament as opposition members created ruckus ahead of the Budget presentation. He started off his speech by highlighting the achievements of Modi Government in the last three years. This year too, the minister sounded confident and optimistic throughout. He was loud and clear. After 20 minutes of starting his Budget speech, the minister was asked by the speaker to continue the rest of his speech, while being seated, however he decided to follow her advice after 30 minutes of starting his budget speech. Last year, the FM started his speech at sharp 11:00 am, ended at 12.34 pm. Modi Government’s first budget presented back in June 2014 was one of the longest speeches that lasted for almost 135 minutes.
Markets on a free fall: Most of the banking stocks such as ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, SBI, BOB and PNB were trading in the green for nearly an hour from the commencement of the budget speech. However, the banking index reacted negatively, on his announcement of Rs 25,000 crore to be provided for recapitalisation of PSU banks, as the amount was way below market expectations. Considering the rising non-performing in the banking system, especially for the public sector banks, the Government, last year, had announced capital infusion of Rs 70,000 crore into banks, over four years up to financial year 2019, in four tranches. By the end of his speech, markets slumped 400 points but picked up marginally soon after the budget speech ended.
Mood Gallery: This year too, the mood in the Parliament looked positive, with most of them paying close heed to the FM speech. The minster was cheered by his team of ministers and the Prime Minister on many occasions. While presenting his Budget, Jaitley noted that he has accepted a suggestion from Rahul Gandhi, which led to smiles in the opposition party. Jaitley accepted Rahul’s suggestion, giving tax exemption to Braille paper. According to reports, the Congress vice president had urged the commerce ministry to slash the import duty on specialized equipment for visually-challenged people.
Monday blues: Even though the speech didn’t last for too long, some ministers were seen dozing off…hmmm Monday blues!