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Surfers' comments
The threshold limits on tax need to be increased and tax rates should be spread across more slabs so as not to hurt the salaried class. - Jayaraman

The I-T exemption for men should be Rs 1.8 lakh. Rs 1.5 lakh is peanuts. - Naveen Kumar
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Expert comments
Gaurav Taneja,
Partner & National Tax Director says the Finance Minister has stressed on buoyancy in tax collections and on attaining a Tax—GDP ratio of 12.5%.
Motilal Oswal, Chairman and Managing Director of Motilal Oswal Financial Services says the Finance Minister was uniquely positioned to present a landmark Budget.
Srinivasa Rao, Partner & India International Tax Leader, Ernst & Young is of the opinion that Union Budget has lived up to the populist trend.
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Union Budget 2008-09  »   Story
VOX CEOs: What the business leaders have to say
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"It is clearly an inclusive Budget. Bold measures such as farm loan waiver, focus on irrigation, higher outlays for education and health have been prioritised against a backdrop of high economic growth and buoyant revenues."

- A.M. Naik, CMD, L&T

"This is a very progressive Budget with concern for the common man…The crucial challenge will be monitoring and implementation of schemes where large sums of money are being pumped in".

- S.P. Hinduja, Chairman, Hinduja Group

"This is a People-driven Budget and not a Corporate-driven Budget. As an airline operator, I am quite disappointed as we have not been given any tax breaks".

- Jeh Wadia, Managing Director, GoAir

"This Budget will provide an impetus to inflation control. We welcome the relaxation in excise duty from 16 per cent to 14 per cent".

- Moon B. Shin, Managing Director, LG Electronics India

"I think that the government's decision to reduce excise duty on all goods produced in the pharmaceutical sector from 16 per cent to 8 per cent is a very positive move, especially from the point of view of smallscale players who had to close down in the past".

- Dr Swati Piramal, Director, Nicholas Piramal

"Total reduction of excise duties by 2 per cent will give a welcome boost to the manufacturing sector. Also, the exemption of specified parts of set-top boxes from customs duties is, indeed, commendable and will help in reducing the costs for customers".

- Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises

"It's an election Budget. A Rs 60,000 crore debt waiver for farmers and tax relief for individuals — what more could one expect as handouts".

- R. Subramanian, MD, Subhiksha

"The Finance Minister has displayed remarkable courage in pursuing economic reforms".

- Baba Kalyani, CMD, Bharat Forge

"This is a mixed Budget. The FM has not touched upon the corporate tax, which we were anticipating".

- Sajjan Jindal, Vice-Chairman & MD, JSW Steel

"The Budget is a stimulus package towards social, health, employment, agriculture, education and other sectors".

- Gautam Hari Singhania, CMD, Raymond

"The fact that the government has waived (farmers') loans is the big positive...".

- Shekhar Bajaj, Chairman & MD, Bajaj Electricals

Sector Analysis
Negotiating a rough patch
Demand growth is expected to be buoyant driven by new vehicle launches, likely softening of interest rates and continued growth on the export front.
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Railway Budget
Lalu presents people's budget, slashes fares
The minister announced launch of several new trains and reduction in fares across all classes amid chaos by Opposition in Parliament.
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A budget for Bharat
Buoyant tax revenues a lower fiscal deficit and an economy that's in top gear permit the FM to pump big money into agriculture and the social sector. Those efforts might help at the hustings, too.
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Economic Survey
'Expand telecom infrastructure, R&D'
"With rapid growth of telecom network, there is a need to further expand the infrastructure and research and development," the survey said.
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Surfers' comments
This is a very good budget, especially for agriculture and education. P Chidambaram is the best.
- By Saravanan P (
If you can waive Rs 50,000 crore for farmers what about the tax on housing loan interest? That should also have been reduced.
- Chandra Shekar V (
Please tax the street hawkers and give relief to the salaried persons.
- Rajaram (
This is the worst budget the finance minister has ever presented. The backbone of the country's economy is the transport but he completely missed it out.
- Jayakaanthan A (
The budget is sure to augment growth and will also lessen the volatility of the stock markets.
- Sidharth Paul (
Overall, the budget is satisfactory but the health sector should have been given greater importance.
- Ankit Chaudhary (
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Business Today's Budget edition
Editorial: Predictably populist budget
Special: Something for everyone...
Column: All for the common man
Exclusive interview with the FM
Maintaining the growth story
The Finance Minister defends Budget 2008 and the Rs 60,000 crore loan waiver doled out to farmers in an exclusive interview to Business Today's Sanjoy Narayan and R Sridharan.
"Total reduction of excise duties by 2% will give a welcome boost to the manufacturing sector. Also, the exemption of specified parts of set-top boxes from customs duties is commendable".
- Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises
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Beginner’s guide to budget
Union Budget is an estimate of the Government of India's revenue and expenditure for the end of a particular fiscal year, which usually runs from April 1 to March 31. Read on...
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