India Budget surprises with surge on spending, tax on super-rich
HEFTY REVENUE GROWTH ASSUMPTIONS
Total budget expenditure will rise by an unexpectedly high 16 percent in the 2013/14 fiscal year that begins on April 1 to 16.65 trillion rupees ($309 billion).
Next year's fiscal deficit target is in line with expectations but assumes hefty revenue growth, including 558 billion rupees from the sale of government stakes in companies, or more than double the 240 billion rupee target for the current year, which falls short of the initial target.
"From a macro perspective, the budget is disappointing in our opinion as it lacks any expenditure control," Nomura analysts wrote.
The budget also assumes revenue of 408.5 billion rupees from telecoms sector fees, more than double what it will generate this year, with its next auction of mobile airwaves poised to flop after attracting just one bidder.
"The government may fall short of its tax and disinvestment targets and end up cutting spending closer to the end of the year to attain its fiscal deficit target," said A. Prasanna, economist at ICICI Securities Primary Dealership Ltd.
Net market borrowing of 4.84 trillion rupees for the new fiscal year met investor hopes that the figure would not top 5 trillion rupees, but the gross figure exceeded expectations.
The budget included several measures to spur investment both in markets and by corporations, including an incentive on investments in plant and machinery exceeding 1 billion rupees and extending tax breaks for small companies that grow larger, and an expansion of tax-free bonds for infrastructure.
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