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Bengaluru, NFAPost: India’s much-awaited Union Budget 2021-22 has just concluded as our Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has proposed a positive economic stimulus for boosting job creation and rural development, besides allocating a surplus budget for healthcare with ₹35,000 crores on Covid-19 vaccine development.

 The budget has brought some relief to senior citizens (aged over 75) by scrapping income tax for those earning only pension and interest income. Among other measures, Sitharaman has announced new rules for removal of double taxation for NRIs while also reducing time period of tax assessments from six to just three years.

Startups have received further monetary boost with an extension in their tax holiday for an additional year. Sensex has shot up to 48,608.24 with a boost of 2,322 basis points at the time of writing this piece. Dalal Street and Nifty bank show tremendous promise with the announcement of Union Budget 2021.

Here are some top reactions and concerns surrounding this year’s budget, which is pegged at achieving a record real GDP growth of 11 per cent in 2021-22.  

Budget 2021 will spur growth: PM Modi

“Today’s Budget is a vision of “Atmanirbhar Bharat and provides new opportunities. The Budget 2021 will spur growth and will give  a boost to India’s self-reliance. This has focused on strengthening ease of living,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. 

“Union Budget 2021-22 has been presented amid unprecedented circumstances. Today’s budget will enhance India’s self,” he added.

Increase in budget for the health sector will definitely strengthen health services: Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan sounded upbeat that the new budget will definitely boost health services.

Focus on health in Budget is testimony to India’s commitment to fight COVID: Poonam Khetrapal Singh

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia appreciated the government’s focus on health in Budget, saying that it is testimony to India’s commitment to fight COVID-19. 

Budget for Aatmanirbhar Bharat, will strengthen economy: Rajnath Singh

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh hailed the budget 2021 as an ideal prospect for AtmaNirbhar Bharat to strengthen the Indian economy.

Appreciate bigger funding for public healthcare: Bankbazzar CEO

Adil Shetty, CEO Bankbazzar.com: “India has extremely low insurance penetration. The National Sample Survey Office conducted a survey between 2017 and 2018, sampling 113,823 urban and rural households. The findings indicate that a whopping 85.9 percent of the rural and 80.9 percent of the urban population did not have health insurance.

“The survey reported that out-of-pocket expenses for a single hospitalisation in private hospitals would cost Rs. 15,937 in rural areas and up to Rs. 22,031 in urban areas. Around 79.5 percent of the rural population paid their hospital bills independently, even selling physical assets, while 13.4 percent borrowed. 

“It’s clear healthcare problems greatly strain the average Indian’s finances. In urban areas, 83.7 percent of families paid out of their savings, with 8.5 percent relying on loans. Therefore, greater funding of public healthcare – especially in the light of a crippling pandemic – is most welcome. We await the operational details of the scheme now.”

Reaction on enabling One Person Companies for NRIs

Tapati Ghose, Partner, Deloitte India: “Non-resident individuals with entrepreneurial potential are can now create One Person Companies (OPC) with no paid up capital and turnover restrictions, reducing registration timeline from 182 days to120 days. Earlier only Indian resident citizens were permitted to set up OPCs. This would be attractive to the Indian Diaspora.”

Budget ‘must’ support employment creation for farmers and MSMEs: Rahul Gandhi

Welcome FDI limit increase in insurance sector: Russell Gaitonde, Deloitte

Russell Gaitonde, Partner, Deloitte India: “The Government’s decision to increase the FDI limit in the insurance sector from 49% to 74% is a welcome move as it was a long standing industry request and will help attract greater foreign investment and strengthen the insurance sector.

 The measures to clean up the NPAs in the banking sector by creation of an ARC and Asset Management Company that will take over the stressed assets and sell to AIFs is also welcomed as it will help improve the health of the banking sector.”

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor mocks over the budget

Senior Congress leader mocked the centre over the budget, saying “this BJP government reminds me of the garage mechanic who told his client, ‘I couldn’t fix your brakes, so I made your horn louder’.”

Economic stimulus for Covid vaccines will encourage more manufacturers: Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla

Adar Poonawalla has appreciated the Rs 64,180-crore allocation on health infrastructure and Rs 35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccines in the Union Budget.

“We welcome the move for vaccines as it will encourage more manufacturers to take up vaccine production and build India’s capacity. Any investment in health is also welcome and pays us many times over because a healthy individual can perform and disruptions to the economy can be reduced,” Poonawalla told The Indian Express.

Congress leader Anand Sharma expressed his disappointment and demanded a bold budget

“The FM could have been brave but chose to be timid. The nation needed a bold budget & more direct transfers to the weaker sections to revive demand, restart job creation.”

AAP takes a dig at the centre for increased private investment

The Delhi government criticised the centre following the Union Budget 2021 for its increased privatisation of PSUs including railways, airports, electricity, highways and agriculture sectors.

Worst GDP Growth Rate: Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari

Worst growth rate of GDP since 1991… Will not grow the economy but will sell the family silver, says Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.

Ordinary Budget in unprecedented times: AR Chowdhury

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Lok Sabha MP, Congress expressed his dissatisfaction with the budget, as he expected unprecedented measure in unprecedented times.

100% visionless, Budget theme sell India: TMC’s Derek O’Brien reacts

The TMC condemned the Centre over the Union Budget on Monday, saying India’s first paperless budget had a fake theme to sell India without any vision for the future.

“India’s first paperless budget is also a 100% visionless budget. Theme of the fake budget is Sell India!” TMC spokesperson Derek O’Brien said. “Railways: sold, Airports: sold, Ports: sold, Insurance: sold PSUs: 23 sold!”

O’Brien also claimed the needs of the common man and farmers were neglected and the Budget would make the rich richer and the poor poorer, while the middle class got “nothing”.

Reassuring budget with no negative surprises, says Biocon Executive Chairperson, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

“Overall, a reassuring budget with no negative surprises that has buoyed overall sentiment. Healthcare and well-being have received top priority in this budget, with more than doubling of the outlay to Rs. 223,856 crore, including the allocation of Rs. 35,400 crore towards Covid-19 vaccination,” explained Mazumdar Shaw.

Practical, rational & progressive Budget: NITI Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant 

Superb Budget. It’ll not only accelerate us in pre-COVID period recovery stage but also provide a direction for 3-4 yrs.”

Budget 2021 has left middle class bruised and wounded: Jaiveer Shergill

Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said the budget has left the middle class “bruised and wounded” by not changing tax slabs, not increasing deductions, not making new deduction slots like home loans, not bringing fuel under GST, not sharing Rs 19 Lakh crore gain from fuel taxes, not reducing GST rates.

 “After promising a century, FM is out hit wicket at Zero!! Instead of calling it as ‘budget of the century’ it will be remembered as ‘blunder of the century’ by BJP Govt #Budget2021,” he tweeted.

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