New Delhi: The
public's reaction to the 2013-14 budget is positive, though a
section of the "aam admi" feels that it will take a fair amount of
sweat for the government to meet the target of containing the
fiscal deficit at 4.8 percent of the gross domestic product in the
However, entrepreneurs and the tech-fraternity are happy with the
incentives offered by the government to create a vibrant "start-up
technology eco-system and drive innovations with more support to
"In the the last five years, I think this is the best budget for
the start-up eco-system. The government has sent a subtle message
that it wants the small and medium companies to grow big and it
has offered several sops to compete at the national level," Sanjay
Vijayakumar, CEO of Kochi-based MobME Wireless told IANS on
The government has allowed small and medium industries, run by
"informed investors", to list on the stock exchange without making
an initial public offer (IPO) to raise capital and has provided
Rs.1,000 crore to train 10 lakh youth in skill development, he
"Such schemes will benefit the youth and the students," the
There is good news for agriculture and watershed development with
increased allocation, but "we need effective implementation," says
Sunita Narain, director general of the Centre for Science and
Pointing to the workable components and targets which did not seem
feasible, Narain said "the recognition that small and marginal
farmers need investment in improved land productivity is a
critical component of the budget".
Narain said the finance minister's decision to "evolve a scheme to
encourage cities to take up waste-to-energy propjects in
public-private partnership mode shows his complete lack of
understanding of garbage".
"What is needed is to incentivize municipalities that can
segregate, recycle and reuse waste, not build white-elephant waste
plants. But clearly, that does not suit the technology-fixated
mindset. Now these funds will push another round of bad projects,
which will create more problems than solve existing ones," Narain
said in a statement.
Schemes like the allocation of Rs.1,000 crore for women's safety
and empowerment are just an appendix, said Crystal David John,
head of the economics department at the Stella Maris College in
Chennai. "What is needed for women's empowerment is an all-round
gender sensitivity which should percolate down to the ground level
and create an environment for justice," John told IANS from
John was echoed by Radhika Chakavarty, a 19-year-old student of
St. Stephen's College in the capital. "Schemes like these are not
enough. The focus should be on better laws and implementation of
policies," she addded.
Rameez, a 21-year-old student in the capital said "the special
bank for women is justified because women have poor access to
credit in rural areas".
There has been a 8.7 per cent increase in child welfare schemes
from last year, but there has been no focus on the Integrated
Child Protection Scheme, which was promised, Bharti Ali, director
of the HAQ Centre for Child Rights said.
"Though greater attention to schemes is important, how the
increased budget is spread across the heads is crucial to the
success of the schemes," she explained.
Pankaj Sinha, a 23-year-old executive at Pininfarina, observed
that the "introduction of service taxes was earlier confined to
only the restaurants that served the liquor and the 18 per cent
hike on cigarettes and cigarillos might either reduce consumption
or become a major cause for outrage".
Describing the budget allocation as "real short" for the health
sector, Bejon Misra, founder trustee of the Consumer Online Forum,
said "he was disappointed with very little focus on social
security issues like pension, healthcare to all, employment and
debt servicing in the manner as was expected". It was more of a
balancing act, he added.
"I must tell you that 10 percent Indians are holding 50 percent of
India's total income. They are the super-rich of India. Why should
the finance minister be reluctant to tax the super rich (10 per
cent surcharge has been levied on those who earn more than Rs 1
crore)? The thing that is lacking in this budget is triggers what
actually happens on the ground," V. Mukund Das, director of the
Chandragupt Institute of Management in Patna, told IANS over
The implementation of the schemes have to be efficient and the
approach to fiscal welfare "pro-poor", Das said.