As India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley prepares to present his second Union Budget on February 28, nearly every macro-economic indicator is favourable – inflation is down; current account deficit is under control. Crude oil prices have bounced back after a historic fall, but they are still at comfortable levels. Foreign exchange reserves are at a peak and foreign investors are propelling stock markets to new levels.
While tax and excise collections are expected to be lower and the Index of Industrial Production is depressed, there couldn’t be a better time to expedite the reforms process. The Modi government, which rode to power on a wave of hope, has not done enough, critics point out.
So, what does industry expect from the Union Budget? What can Jaitley and Modi do to live up to the high expectations? We ask a few tough questions, and attempt the tougher answers.
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