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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  »   Top stories
Top stories
'National Budget a poll gimmick'
The BJP asked why the Centre failed to notice the plight of farmers all these years, while the CPI mocked that the FM announced everything but the date of elections.
Auto industry gives mixed views on Budget
The industry is satisfied to an extent with the Budget but expected more steps to be taken for bigger cars and exports.
India's 'soft power' gets special budgetary allocation
The FM proposed that the entertainment industry be projected in a more sophisticated manner and announced an allocation of Rs 750 million to the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
IT, ITeS sector to get Rs 16.8 bn in 2008-09
The Finance Minister proposed to enhance the allocation to the Department of Information Technology from Rs 1,500 crore in 2007-08 to Rs 1,680 crore in 2008-09.
Income tax exemption limit raised to Rs 1,50,000
The Finance Minister increased the threshold limit from Rs 1,10,000 to Rs 1,50,000 for men and from Rs 1,45,000 for women to Rs 1,80,000.
Farmers breathe easy as loans waived
Loans taken by small and marginal farmers up to March 31, 2007 have been waived completely and the move is expected to be complete by June 13, 2008. Though this brought respite to millions of farmers, it also raised uproar in the House.
FM presents Budget, lays stress on health and education
Announcing a 20% in the education budget - from Rs 28,674 cr to Rs 34,400 cr - Chidambaram said more IITs and IIMs will be set up across the country. He also announced Rs 8,000 cr for mid-day meal scheme and Rs 4,554 cr for secondary education scheme.
Expand telecom infrastructure, R&D: Economic Survey
"With rapid growth of the telecom network, there is need to further expand the telecom infrastructure and research and development. This would require infusion of funds and strengthening of the domestic telecom manufacturing sector," the survey said.
India needs second Green Revolution, says Survey
A second Green Revolution, particularly in the areas which are rain-fed, maybe necessary to improve the income of the persons dependent on the agriculture sector, the government's annual economic report card.
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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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