In the worst Budget day show since 2009, the BSE Sensex today tanked 291 points to end below 19,000-level, as the government slapped more taxes on companies as well as super-rich and offered little concessions for large investors.
The 30-share gauge resumed higher and touched a high of 19,332.28, up by almost 170 points. However, as Budget proposals started trickling in, Sensex turned volatile. It fell sharply to settle at 18,861.54, a loss of 290.87 points or 1.52 per cent. This is the lowest close since 18,842.08 on November 27, 2012.
"Markets reacted negatively to higher revenue projection from divestment and spectrum sale could lead to higher-than-estimated deficit number. Also, amendment to DTA indicating submission of residency certificate would not be sufficient condition for claiming benefit brought the scare of GAAR back among institutional investors," Rikesh Parikh, Vice President - Equities, Motilal Oswal Securities.
In the post Budget press conference at New Delhi, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, however, said, the government has not come up with any burden on people or spooked investors, while exuding confidence that fiscal deficit will be contained.
Profit-booking on the last day of the expiry of February derivative contracts also weighed on the market, traders said.
The 50-issue CNX Nifty of the NSE also plunged by 103.85 points or 1.79 per cent to end below 5,700-mark at 5,693.05, the level not seen since November 26, 2012.
Banking stocks led by SBI and ICICI Bank suffered heavy losses on liquidity concerns in banking system after government set target for gross market borrowing at Rs 6.29 trillion this fiscal.
The sentiment turned bearish on hike in some taxes despite reduction in Securities Transaction Tax on mutual fund and equity futures transactions.
Auto stocks, including Maruti, saw losses as government announced hiking excise duty on luxury cars and their parts.
RIL, HDFC Bank, L&T, Tata Steel and Bhel also ended down. ITC, however, recouped early losses to close flat after being hit by additional duty on cigarettes. The fall in the Sensex today was the biggest in the past four years on the Budget day. Previously, it had tumbled by 869.65 points or 5.83 per cent