It's a bold budget. The economic reforms will not affect developmental activities, and employment opportunities will be improved. Some unavoidable burden has been passed on to the common people but I am sure they will accept it. Economic reforms are a must but developmental activities will not be allowed to suffer. The budgetary proposals will ensure that economic reforms and development go hand in hand.
- Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Indian prime minister
The budget has exposed the government's dependence on foreign companies who can destroy the level-playing field of Indian industries.
- Priyaranjan Dasmunshi, Congress leader
It's a beaten track. The agriculture sector has not been given enough attention.
- Shivraj Patil, Congress leader
The government is dictated by the WTO and the US. We have lost our economic independence. Foreign companies and corporate houses have been given encouragement. More and more people will be affected by the proposals.
- Somnath Chatterjee, CPM leader
The government has given no thought to checking the fiscal deficit and unemployment. It is an anti-people, anti-farmer budget. We will oppose it.
- Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, RJD leader
Though the emphasis on agriculture is a welcome move, I'm disappointed that the northeast has not been given anything special. The increase in prices of LPG and kerosene could have been avoided.
- P A Sangma, NCP leader
The budget will affect the middle class and government employees.
- Sushil Kumar Shinde, senior Congress leader
It is not a growth-oriented budget.
- B M Khaitan, chairman, Williamson Magor group
The finance minister has taken no steps to revive the capital market in the budget; it's an opportunity lost.
- Aditya Lodha, president, Indian Chamber of Commerce
It's an achievable budget. I believe it is not a disappointment; there are a few areas of concern and it will take us to the 7-8 per cent growth.
- Sanjiv Goenka, president, CII
You can only get a real perspective of the budget only in the next 48 hours, and watch out for good things emerging from it.
- Sunil Mittal, CMD, Bharti Televentures
I think the market will feel bad about the budget. We are back to the old system of having dividend income tax. The small industries will benefit but the richer people will clearly pay more tax.
- Nimesh Kampani, CMD, JM Morgan Stanley
Sinha has taken the right step, especially in agriculture. A good budget, if you think in the long term.
- Ashok Soota, CEO, MindTree
Changing income tax rates will have a severe impact on many sectors, especially the IT sector.
- Phiroz Vandrevala, president, Nasscom
The budget has achieved whatever it can do. The state-linked reform programme is a unique offering. The APM dismantling will do good things for the corporate sector.
- Rakesh Mohan, advisor to the finance minister
The budget's focus is good, but there is no scope for any kind of growth.
- Pramod Bhasin, president, GE Capital Markets
A budget that started off well, but there was a sting in the tail.
- Prannoy Roy, Star News
Heavy taxation. The deficit is high. Overall a disappointing budget. The finance minister will have to print money or borrow from the market.
- T N Ninan, editor, Business Standard
The decision on dividend tax will create a depression for few days in the capital markets. In general, nothing has been lined up that would set Dalal Street afire.
- Udayan Bose, chairman, Lazard India
The budget provides a good package for agriculture and urban infrastructure, which should give a good fillip for development.
- Jamshyd Godrej, CMD, Godrej and Boyce
This is a good budget. One has to be realistic that the minister is trying to rationalise the structure.
- Zarir Cama, CEO, HSBC India
There is nothing new offered in the budget for revival of demand in the immediate future.
- Arvind Jolly, president, Indian Merchants' Chamber
The budget is reform-oriented - practically easy to implement - and will benefit the entire society.
- Sarvana Kumar, head, fixed income funds management, SBI Mutual Fund
"The budget low-risk, low-return effort, and hence may make a mildly positive impact on the economic growth rate. It, however, articulates a bold plan for globalisation, particularly, on two accounts: one, further liberalisation of capital account convertibility and second, declaration of destination levels of custom duty at 20 per cent and 10 per cent respectively in three years' time."
- R Seshasayee, managing director, Ashok Leyland
"The budget, as in the past, has gone into reforms - a good intention. But the implementation part appears to be difficult and doubtful. Foreign investment in a debt fund is a non-event,
unless there is a significant gain on dollar returns.
- S K Mitra, director, financial services, Aditya Birla group