Happy to find electric vehicles getting recognised

Vijay Chandok, MD & CEO - ICICI Securities

This budget gives an intent roadmap for the government to achieve its vision for a $5 trillion economy in the next 5 years. It goes further on the government’s commitment to some of its popular schemes like affordable housing, power for all, and rural road connectivity. Government has made further references on FDI, disinvestment, reforms in taxation, unification of labour code, and up-skilling in this budget, and more announcements on these fronts could be expected in the future.

On the personal tax front, no major changes have been implemented in the income tax rates, save for those in the higher bracket, which is not surprising given the macro constraints on fiscal. I am happy to find Electric Vehicles (EVs) getting recognised as besides being an environmentally better alternative, mass adoption will also reduce our dependence on imported crude, helping our Balance of Payment (BoP) situation.

On markets, we welcome the proposal to increase the minimum public shareholding to 35% from 25% as this would increase the market float over a period of time. Tweaking of the Securities Transaction Tax on certain trades could have been made more broad-based. Government directly borrowing in foreign currency is a macro positive at it helps bring in foreign savings. For bonds and currency it is an unambiguously positive.

Overall, we find this a balanced budget which is trying to fulfil the government’s poll promises and lean on broadening of the tax base to fund for the same. 

The author is the MD & CEO of ICICI Securities.

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