Budget 2021 LIVE Updates


All eyes are on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as she will be presenting the Union Budget for 2021-22 on February 1. COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the economy and it is expected that the Budget 2021 will focus on how the Indian economy can grow.


06:17 PM, Feb 01 IST
Budget Reaction - BenQ India

 Rajeev Singh, Managing Director - BenQ India

 “A very significant budget as India is coming out fast from effects of COVID 19, Government has given strong emphasis on spending on Infrastructure along with big push for Atmanirbhar Bharat. Alongside, there is no change in direct taxes largely which were moderated for companies last time. This will mean more money in the system and will act positively towards faster growth of economy. Government has also given additional push to education and skill development segment in the budget which will result in extensive use of technology which in turn will give a boost to virtual classroom and Blended and Hybrid Learning.”

06:16 PM, Feb 01 IST
Budget Reaction: Extension of tax holiday by one year is also an encouraging offering

Paavan Nanda, Co-Founder, WinZO Games “The measures announced by the government demonstrate its bullishness towards the startup ecosystem. The extension of long-term capital gains by another year will offer tailwinds to early-stage funding. Extension of tax holiday by one year is also an encouraging offering, however, most of the new-age startups don't start booking profits in the early years. The Budget’s focus on economic development, infrastructure and health will definitely put India back on the growth trajectory after an unprecedented past financial year.”

06:09 PM, Feb 01 IST
Budget Reaction: ICICI Lombard General Insurance
Bhargav Dasgupta, CEO, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, "The non-life insurance sector finally witnessed a long-standing demand being fulfilled in terms of increase in FDI limit to 74%. This should catalyse the long-term development and growth of the industry. At the same time, steps such as privatization, increased allocation to healthcare and infrastructure, voluntary scrapping of vehicles policy are positive for the sector. What remains to be seen is the timely implementation of these measures.
05:37 PM, Feb 01 IST
Budget Reaction: Hiranandani Group

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, National President NAREDCO, commenting on the Annual Budget, said, “It is a get well soon type of Budget, the ‘V’ shaped recovery being powered by the Covid-19 vaccination program.” On real estate aspects, the proposals for the annual budget reinforce the Government’s focus on affordable housing. For the home buyer, the second extension of the deadline till 31 March 2022 for the additional Rs1.5 lakh tax deduction given on loans taken to buy a house in an affordable housing project is welcome, as is the developer whose affordable housing projects also get an extension for tax benefits, for projects completed till March 31, 2022. Similarly, tax exemption for notified affordable housing for migrant workers, and the deduction on payment of interest for affordable housing being extended by a year will give a fillip to this emerging segment. As affordable housing attracts only 1% GST and Rs 1000 stamp duty in the state of Maharashtra will augment the production of affordable housing in the state. The enhanced spending on public infrastructure projects like ports, railways, airports, warehousing, gas pipelines, metro, economic corridors is laudable and welcomed by industry that will give impetus to the employment generation and attract the essential investment to lift up the economic revival.

“The strong focus on digital covering setting up of a Fintech hub at Gift City, seen in sync with moves to enhance digital payments and use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning etc. in governance, will give a fillip to creation of Digital India,” he concluded.


Given the challenged scenario, the proposed annual budget has been largely positive, no major taxation enhancement is something that is welcome. As the Prime Minister pointed out last year saw mini budgets across the pandemic impacted time frame; the unsaid thing for most industries across the economy is that similar steps may happen with more positives in the offing. Continued focus on 'Minimum Government, Maximum Governance' will enhance 'ease of doing business', this government spending will provide stimulus for GDP growth, and is laudable.”

05:35 PM, Feb 01 IST
Budget Reaction from HDFC Bank:

Abheek Barua, Chief Economist, HDFC Bank commenting on the budget said:

A bold budget in many senses. The central intent has been to use expansionary fiscal policy to support growth sidestepping concerns over debt sustainability and sovereign rating. The fiscal deficit is pegged at 6.8% of GDP in FY22 compared to a revised estimate of 9.5% for FY21. The focus has been on increasing capital expenditure both by the centre (+35% y-o-y) as well as states. Moreover, the budget introduced new institutional structures (like the Development Finance Institution, asset reconstruction company) and provided greater detail on asset monetisation to finance infrastructure needs in the economy. In light of the COVID-19 health crisis, the budget’s focus on health and sanitisation with increased allocations and introduction of a new health scheme are also welcome steps.


That said, the budget does not adequately address concerns over inequitable growth which has been a worry across the globe due to the pandemic. There has been no specific support for sectors stressed due to the pandemic like the hospitality sector. While the government did not increase any direct taxes, as some sections of the market feared, there has also not been any cushion provided for households – especially in the informal sector that has been hit the most by the pandemic. Therefore, while the budget focusses towards pushing the long term growth potential it does little to prevent a K-shaped growth recovery.


For the bond market, a higher than expected market borrowing estimate (INR 12 trn) in FY22 and additional borrowings of INR 80,000 crores in FY21 are likely to add pressure on borrowing costs. The 10-year yield is up by 16bps since the budget announcement crossing 6%. Over the coming year, higher market borrowings, concerns over inflation and a move towards normalising liquidity conditions by the RBI could maintain pressure on yields. We see the 10 year between 5.95-6.10% by the end of H1 FY22.

05:34 PM, Feb 01 IST
Budget reaction: Forward-looking Budget that is aimed at generating investments and reigniting the growth cycle

 Prashant Solomon, MD, Chintels India and Hon. Treasurer- CREDAI NCR said, "Finance Minister has presented a forward-looking Budget that is aimed at generating investments and reigniting the growth cycle. The government’s big bet on infrastructure is bound to pay off in the long term and bring in growth for real estate and allied sectors.  Giving flexibility to REITs to raise more debt capital will attract more investment in the real estate sector and will lead to faster closure of transactions. The decision to extend tax holiday for affordable housing projects is a step in the right direction and will help realise Prime Minister’s dream of ‘Housing For All by 2022’.

05:32 PM, Feb 01 IST
Budget reaction: The thrust of the Budget is on reviving the economy

Ratul Puri, Chairman, Hindustan Power, said, “The thrust of the Budget is on reviving the economy. It is positive and refreshing in its scope and scale. All the announcements are forward looking and will put India back on the growth trajectory. The announcement of ₹3.05 trillion package for discoms is encouraging and will reform the ailing power distribution sector. Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s focus on improving financial health of state power utilities will ensure consumers get more choices as it will promote competition, reliable power supplies and make sector attractive to foreign investors, besides giving overall boost to the industry.


The Budget has also given a boost to non-conventional energy sector by allocating Rs 1,000 crore to solar energy corporation and Rs 1,500 to renewable energy development agency. It is a welcome move.”

05:31 PM, Feb 01 IST
Budget Reaction: Just the Right Budget for Welfare of Women and Children

Sumanta Kar, Senior Deputy National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Of India:

“This is just the right budget for the welfare of women and children as the Finance Minister has focused on increasing household income of farmers; strengthening the healthcare infrastructure, and promoting women's participation in the workforce, which are some of the key enablers of an equitable and knowledge society. Besides the Budget has given the much-needed impetus to the implementation of the new National Education Policy. The attention to such key areas of development is crucial for every child to have the opportunity to grow into a contributing and responsible citizen.


In the wake of the pandemic-led disruptions the need for ensuring social security, protection of livelihoods, and creating economic opportunities for women, and youth cannot be overlooked or overstated. Hence, it is heartening to see the importance this Budget has given to doubling farmers' income, and opportunities for youth to learn vocational skills and become either employable or turn into entrepreneurs. Rs 3000 crores is earmarked for this skilling initiative.


And for the first time, the government is spelling out social security benefits to gig and platform workers. A bold and commendable move is to set minimum wages for all categories of workers. Timely policy intervention is to allow women to work in night shifts with adequate protection and to simplify the compliance procedures in this regard. This will increase the participation of women in the workforce. When these measures are implemented, the household income of many vulnerable families will increase - and the risk of the children of these families losing parental care will come down to that extent.


The Finance Minister has laid out a Rs 64,180 crore spending plan for healthcare over the next six years to strengthen primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare. The Budget envisages the setting up of about 17,000 rural and 11,000 urban health and wellness centres. There will be integrated public health labs, the importance of which is profoundly felt during the pandemic, in each district. In addition, there will be over 3,380 block public health units across 11 states. Mission POSHAN 2.0 will strengthen nutritional content, delivery & outcome, as part of an intensified strategy for improving nutritional outcomes in women and children.


On the education front, we get the feeling that several laudable proposals of the new Education Policy are going to take off sooner than expected. The government has demonstrated its commitment to qualitatively strengthen over 15,000 schools. It is opening more Sainik Schools and about 750 Eklavya schools for the children of tribal communities. Overall Budget 2021 has left no stone unturned in making sure that societies prosper economically and afford opportunities for the children and the youth to realise their potential.”

05:19 PM, Feb 01 IST
Budget Reaction: provides a big boost in make in India

Sonit Jain, CEO of GajShield Infotech on Budget 2021, said "Budget 2021 lays a strong foundation in Infrastructure, Health and Education. It provides a big boost in making India a leader in the World Economy and manufacturing hub of the world. Not only does it give an impetus to easing in doing business in India, it also gives a big push to rural development, which was impacted, the most, during the pandemic. The budget has a vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and will motivate Indian entrepreneurs to make products in India for the World. Overall it is a pro-growth budget and will further fuel the growth of Indian IT companies with its strong focus on Digital India."

05:16 PM, Feb 01 IST
Budget reaction: The government’s move to allocate Rs 1500 crore to strengthen the digital payments across the country

Praveen Paulose, MD and CEO, Celusion Technologies said, "We wholeheartedly welcome Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget for 2021 which entails several initiatives to push India’s economic growth in the coming years. The government’s move to allocate Rs 1500 crore to strengthen the digital payments across the country and facilitate a world-class fintech hub in Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) city will boom the fintech sector’s health incredibly. The much-awaited push post-Covid looks to turn in favour of the BFSI and Fintech market. 

05:02 PM, Feb 01 IST
Budget reaction: Make India as a preferred destination for higher education.

Preethaa Ganesh, Vice President, Vels Group of Institutions, said, “We acknowledge the initiative taken by the central government to make India as a preferred destination for higher education. Towards the same, the proposal of Ind-SAT comes in as a boon as this will help in boosting the education scenario in India by bringing in more foreign candidates. Enhancing online education by introducing a full-fledged education programmes will majorly benefit the students of deprived section of the society. Increase in apprenticeship embedded degree/diploma courses by March 2021 will result in providing more internship opportunities to fresh engineers thereby creating a wholesome job environment. In addition to this, we feel that the sum allocated for skill development and training of teachers will give us room to create a better work environment and deliver a higher quality of education.”

04:57 PM, Feb 01 IST
Budget reaction from Ashok Leyland

Vipin Sondhi – Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ashok Leyland, commenting about the Union Budget said, “The Finance Minister has unveiled a well thought out budget anchored by six key pillars. This could set out a virtuous cycle for Growth and Job creation spearheaded with a thrust on Public investment in Infrastructure and Health. The key will be in effective implementation.  The Union Budget 2021 has several positive signals for the Manufacturing Sector and the Commercial Vehicles (CV) sector, which is core to the economy. I would like to mention four specific areas that we feel could provide the much-needed demand impetus to the CV sector. 

Firstly, the commitment to augment our country's road infrastructure with projects for building 8,500 km of highways and economic corridors augurs well for surface and road transport. 

 Secondly, a Rs 18,000-crore scheme to augment public transport in urban areas with the addition of 20,000 new buses in a PPP model would ensure cleaner and efficient public transportation and ease congestion.

 Thirdly, the assurance of implementing a voluntary scrappage policy, for 20 years for personal vehicles and 15 years for commercial vehicles is positive. This is good for the environment and good for setting in motion a circular economy. However, we await further details of the policy, as the industry had requested for an incentive-based Scrappage policy for it to be effective. 

 Lastly, the emphasis on rejuvenating the manufacturing sector with double-digit sustainable growth is reassuring as manufacturing would be a big job creator. The thrust on R&D for National Priority Projects and the PLI scheme will be key enablers to attain our Prime Minister’s vision for Atmanirbharta in the Manufacturing sector. 

 Overall the budget presented during these difficult times has laid emphasis on increasing economic activity and is a step in the right direction for renewed economic resurgence.”

04:45 PM, Feb 01 IST
Budget reaction: Crucial step towards easing congestion, reducing pollution and making our cities more liveable

Mohit Dubey, Co-Founder and CEO, said, "The latest budget has clearly laid a strong focus on public transportation. It was heartening to see the INR 18,000 crore commitment by the government towards Bus services. While buses are already the largest form of organized commute in India - we still have less than 3 buses per 10,000 people. We need to grow this to at least 10 over the next few years and this is a great start. Equally important is the announcement to add 20,000 city buses through the PPP model. India had thousands of operators with decades of experience in running buses. And now, we also have promising start-ups who have built technology for making the bus experience reliable and safe through live tracking and digital ticketing. Overall, this is a fantastic start - with this we have taken a crucial step towards easing congestion, reducing pollution and making our cities more liveable."

04:42 PM, Feb 01 IST
Budget reaction: Spend big’ budget with a clear focus on banking and infrastructure

Sanjay Palve, Senior Managing Director, Essar Capital Ltd said, “This is a ‘spend big’ budget with a clear focus on banking and infrastructure sector which is exactly what the economy needed and in sectors that required it. Especially the manner in which the FM has sought to clean up the balance sheet of banks by creating a bad bank for stressed assets. This will certainly give banks the elbowroom they need to start lending aided by the proposed Development Finance Institution with ₹ 20,000 cr capital. All these initiatives will spur corporate investments. With this comprehensive approach, the FM has reset the economy for a V-shaped recovery.”

04:40 PM, Feb 01 IST
"Do no harm" budget

Rishab Mehta, CEO & Founder, GrayQuest said, “This year’s Union Budget was in the spirit of "do no harm" in terms of any adverse policies being implemented. Broadly, the various decisions laid out in this year's budget are more "incremental" rather than "transformational" in nature. Accessibility and affordability of education across the weaker economic strata of society has been a perennial challenge in our country, especially this year with the disparity increasing manifold due to lack of online education infrastructure both at school and student level. This year’s budget has indicated a good intention of progress in addressing this gap. Government’s decision to strengthen over 15,000 schools under NEP, set up 100 new Sainik Schools, raise the allocation for 'Eklavya' schools in hilly areas etc. will provide a fillip to quality education. 

This budget has also laid down several measures which are further boosting the cause of both startups and especially fintech startups. Once again, we believe the steps taken relating to startups, although incremental in nature, point towards a long term policy goal of the government to significantly boost the sector via favourable policies, albeit with incremental steps taken every year instead of a big-bang transformational reform. The decision to extend capital gains tax exemption by another year is another step in that respect. Specific to fintech, the setting up a world-class Fintech hub at Gift city will add impetus and government recognition to the growing relevance of Fintech companies in India, which is essential considering that it is a regulated sector.”

GrayQuest is an education-focused Fintech startup.


03:42 PM, Feb 01 IST
Ex CM Devendra Fadnavis lauds the budget
01:55 PM, Feb 01 IST
Budget reaction

 Rajiv Agarwal, CEO and MD, Essar Ports Ltd. said, "The budget 2021 is extremely positive, driving the country towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat by laying huge stress on health care, infrastructure, banking and insurance, textile and agriculture that will aid the country not only towards economic revival but also spur growth. The Infrastructure spending is going up by 34% through NIP  and a welcome Focus on boost in Road and Railway infrastructure with new economic corridors planned will certainly help the growth of the logistics sector and will lead to enhancing trade in the country. The announcement of the launch of the National Asset Monetisation Pipeline which will include Transmission lines of Power Grid, oil and gas pipelines, airports, toll roads etc will be a game-changer. Government's increased focus on the infrastructure sector will certainly bring in positive measures for the holistic growth of the logistics and maritime sector. No new tax is a very big positive in these times.”

01:51 PM, Feb 01 IST
Strong signal for infrastructure development

Amit Kapur, Joint Managing Partner commenting on Infrastructure sector announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Budget 2021-2022 said,  "The budget speech expectedly has given a strong signal for infrastructure development focusing on actualizing the ambitious national infrastructure pipeline targeting an investment of Rs.111 lakh crores over 5 years. The signal comes from the announced budgetary allocations and decisions (a) central allocation of Rs5.54 lakh crores, (b) state allocations of Rs.2 lakh crores, (c) announcement to tap into budgetary resources of PSUs and wide-ranging InVITs monetising assets in highways, power transmission, gas pipelines, dedicated freight corridors, airport.  The above announcements are strengthened by the announcement of establishing Bad Bank in nature of AMC; a development financial institution with a seed investment of Rs.20,000 crores and a target to be build a lending portfolio of Rs. 5 lakh crores in 3 years; an extensive disinvestment program with a target of Rs.1.75 lakh crores; zero coupon bonds that will help arrange the infra financing. The devil lies in the details and the success in reviving the economy would depend on effective structural reforms in infrastructure sectors removing barriers to growth + how the government goes about monetising the land bank and assets held by PSUs.




01:03 PM, Feb 01 IST
FM concludes her presentation
01:03 PM, Feb 01 IST
Sensex gives a thumbs up to the budget
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