NSE MD and CEO Ashishkumar Chauhan gives a 10/10 to the Interim Budget


Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Feb 1: I give the Interim Budget 10/10. The budget focuses on growth, welfarism and fiscal restraint, while ensuring continuity on policies and taxation. The focus on capacity building through higher spending on hard as well as soft infrastructure and consequently facilitating job creation has continued. At the same time, the budget provides enough for poor, farmers, women, and youth, which in turn bodes well for the overall economic growth, thereby keeping us in a good stead in an otherwise uncertain world. At 5.8%, the revised fiscal deficit for FY23-24 is an improvement from the budget estimate by 10bps. Fiscal consolidation continues to be the front and centre, with the fiscal deficit for FY24-25 brought down to 5.1%, bettering expectations and a commitment of a sub-4.5% target by FY25-26.

The capex outlay has increased by 16.9% to a record high of Rs 11.11 lakh crore, implying 3.4% of GDP—the highest in 26 years, with strong focus on roads, transport, and railways. This implies a CAGR of 27% in the last five-year period. The quality of expenditure has also improved, with capital expenditure now comprising 23.3% of total expenditure—the highest in 30 years.

A social security framework is in place today for the poor and needy with coverage on power, health, housing, cooking gas and financial inclusion. Overall, this is a positive budget for the markets, with continued focus on growth, prudence and transparency.