Benchmark equity indices BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty extended their gains for the second straight session on Tuesday after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday presented an expansionary Union Budget for 2021-22 which sought to pull the economy out of the pandemic-induced slump through increased spending on infrastructure, healthcare and farm sectors without resorting to higher taxation.
The 30-share index Sensex traded 1,414 points, or 2.91%, up at 50,015 at around 9.35 am (IST). Likewise, the 50-share Nifty index was up 390.60 points, or 2.74%, at 1,4671.80.
As many as 27 stocks in the Sensex pack traded in the green with infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro gaining the most 5.73%. It was followed by HDFC Bank (up 5.64%), State Bank of India (up 4.45%), Bajaj Finance (up 4.36%). On the other hand, Dr Reddy’s Labs, RIL and HUL were traded marginally in the red.
VK Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist, Geojit Financial Services said, “The thumps up given by the Sensex reflects the market’s resounding approval of the bold reform-growth-orientation of the budget.”
He further added that like the 1991 Budget which initiated liberalisation in India, this budget marks a clear turn to the right in economic policy in India. The stage is set for India embracing privatisation in right earnest.
Tabling the Budget for 2021-22 in Parliament, the finance minister proposed more than doubling healthcare spending, enhancing capital expenditure to Rs 5.54 lakh crore and introduced an agri infra cess of up to 100% on some goods to create post-harvest infrastructure for improving farmers’ income.
But to reduce the burden on consumers, the customs or import duty on these items was cut.
A cess of Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol and Rs 4 per litre on diesel was also slapped but this was offset by a reduction of an equivalent amount in the excise duty — making it price neutral for consumers.
The government projected a fiscal deficit of 9.5% of the GDP for the current fiscal, hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, and 6.8% in 2021-22 as it sought to strike a balance between supporting growth and maintaining fiscal discipline.
Among the sectoral indices, the BSE Finance index was up 3.84% at 20,958. BSE Auto, Bankex and Capital Goods index were also up between 3%-5%.
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