Vishesh C. Chandiok, CEO, Grant Thornton Bharat

This budget has given a big push to set the Indian economy on a high growth path for the rest of this decade. A path breaking budget that has resisted the calls for fiscal deficit focus and debt/GDP centricity. 2021, along with the Atmanirbhar Bharat announcements of 2020, will be remembered as the new 1991.

Vishesh C. Chandiok
CEO, Grant Thornton Bharat

Vikas Vasal, National Managing Partner – Tax, Grant Thornton Bharat LLP

A bold budget in the backdrop of the pandemic and huge fiscal deficit. Focus has been to open up the economy further, boost capital formation, increase government spending, step up the disinvestment process and continue administrative policy reforms.

Status quo on tax rates is a big relief to the tax payers and provides re-assurance to investors about the government’s resolve to provide certainty on broad tax policy framework.

Vikas Vasal
National Managing Partner – Tax, Grant Thornton Bharat LLP

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown(s) have undoubtedly caused massive disruptions in business around the world. The Indian GDP saw one of its worst contractions of 23.9% in the first quarter of the fiscal year (FY) 2021. However, the economic survey and various other statistics have shown a V-shaped recovery of the economy. The real GDP in FY21 is expected to contract by 7.7%. The GDP growth in the next fiscal year is expected at 11%.

The Union Budget seems to have incorporated most of the suggestions laid out in the economic survey. It has focused on supporting the economy and boosting growth through higher capital expenditure, big infrastructure push and higher outlay for the healthcare sector. Higher expenditure will be met through asset monetisation, aggressive disinvestment and much higher market borrowing. The government has set realistic targets for fiscal deficit numbers for FY21 to 9.5% of the GDP. It further estimates a steady recovery and proposes to gradually bring down the fiscal deficit to below 4.5% by FY 2025-26.

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