March 16, 2000
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Tax proposals won't be rolled back: Sinha
The finance minister chided the industry leaders for demanding rollbacks of export earning tax and dividend tax while preaching political parties to accept food and fertiliser subsidies cut.

Email this report to a friend The Making of India's Rs 1 trillion fiscal deficit
Economists who have read between the Budget lines say, there are more villians in the fiscal drama than the ones identified by the government -- expenses, interest payments and the failure in meeting the divestment targets. Interest payments form 91 per cent of the fiscal deficit.

Sinha open to 'review genuine shortcomings, problems and irritants' in Budget
''As far as the dividend tax is concerned, we feel it was necessary to impose this levy... Please live with it as it cannot be rolled back,'' the finance minister told the Indian industry.

Budget impact won't be inflationary, assures Sinha
"Funds would be advanced to states for infrastructure development only through the project-mode. The states would have to come up with specific project proposals to avail of funds to avoid misuse," the finance minister said. Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu had earlier criticised the government's fund-allocation system.

'Nothing' in the Defence Budget: experts
Major General (retired) Afsir Karim said, 'A substantial part of the hike will be eaten up by inflation. Then more money will have to be spent on the increased spending on the revenue side also.'

Finance Secretary forecasts 8% GDP growth in next fiscal
ASSOCHAM has expressed concern over the cascading effect of the increase in the tax on dividends. Piyush Mankad said he would have the issue examined closely and take corrective action if necessary.

Sinha rules out rollback of subsidies
"I consider it extremely unlikely," the finance minister said in a television interview. Cuts in subsidies, he said, was a well-considered opinion.

SEBI chief urges 'experts' to see the human angle in Budget
Economists and financial whizkids are insensitive towards critical issues such as population control and job creation, D R Mehta said. "We can't remove food subsidies when a majority of our population is below the poverty line. The 50-year old legacy of subsidising agriculture sector can not be wiped out overnight."

Budget blues
Devangshu Datta calculates the Gross Domestic Product based on three deficit estimates from the Budget papers and gets three different figures!

Demolishing the poor, sparing the rich
Yashwant Sinha should have left food subsidies untouched and focused on aggressive privatisation, downsizing of public sector units and desubsidisation of higher education,' says Dilip Thakore.

This isn't time for concessions to common man, says Sinha
Referring to the expenses of the Kargil 'war', the FM said in a post-Budget interview, ''This is the time for the people to stand up and willingly make sacrifices.''

New taxes to raise Rs 70 billion; I-T rates left untouched, excise duties cut, knowledge-based industries get a fillip
Yashwant Sinha's fiscal deficit figure causes concern to Prime Minister Vajpayee. The Opposition calls Budget 2000 'disastrous'. Media labels it 'soft'. Industry offers mixed reactions. Venture capitalists welcome incentives. NRIs say 'good but not good enough'.

Govt bit the bullet to curb fiscal deficit: Sinha defends Budget 2000
"The Budget should be appreciated since it has undertaken a major rationalisation of tax structure by doing away with various exemptions. The attitude of 'I'm special, I should not be taxed,' should be given up," the finance minister said.

Budget for development, says PM
But Vajpayee expressed concerned about the size of the fiscal deficit.

Sinha's 'excise simplification' claim baffles experts
The proposed excise recast may affect consumption levels and thereby economic recovery. If manufacturers absorb duty hikes themselves, their profit margins, and surplus cash available for investment, would get squeezed. This could further slacken the sluggish pace of economy, excise experts said.

New programmes to focus on basic rural needs
A new scheme, 'Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana' has been launched to undertake time-bound programmes to provide primary education, health care, drinking water, housing and roads in rural areas.

Defence budget up as never before
In the steepest hike for defence allocation ever, Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha has raised the budget for that ministry by a whopping Rs 130 billion to Rs 585.87 billion.

IT, telecom, entertainment get rebates
Sinha has provided a new impetus to the fast-emerging convergence revolution.

Fiscal deficit worries economists
The yawning revenue-expenditure gap would not allow interest rates to come down, they aver.

A business-as-usual Budget
"Under the Indira Awas Yojana, it is proposed to provide 1.2 million houses, said Sinha. Shouldn’t he tell us how many rural houses have been built thus far? I'm prepared to bet not even 120,000 houses. If so, isn’t a target of 1.2 million homes an unattainable pie in the sky?" says Dilip Thakore.

Peak rate of customs duty reduced by 5 per cent
The finance minister also reduced the slabs from five to four. The four slabs of import duty are: 5 per cent, 15 per cent, 25 per cent and 35 per cent.

Sinha's fiscal management plan
The finance minister has introduced a number of initiatives to curb built-in expenditure growth and bring about structural changes in the composition of expenditure.

'Budget attempts to please govt employees at all costs. Are they holy cows?
"Our government wants to fill up potholed roads by taking away 20% of the profit of software firms whose fortunes are linked not to the Indian economy but that of the US," says Prof R Vaidyanathan of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

More money for family welfare
Recognising the role of the Indian system of medicine and homeopathy, the plan allocation for the concerned departments is to be doubled.

Steps taken to control fiscal deficit: Sinha
The finance minister also said the Budget has continued the economic reforms while directly dealing with poverty and unemployment.

Dun & Bradstreet Budget Special | The Run-up
Budget Process | Budget Hotlinks | NDA Government & Economy
Official Web site of the Ministry of Finance: Budget 2000 document
Ministry of Finance: Economic Survey 1999-2000

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