Easily the sectors that benefitted most from P. Chidambaram’s largesse were auto, lifesciences, and media & entertainment, to name three of the biggest gainers.
They’ve all gained from rationalisations in excise duties (and customs duties too, as in the case of the pharma sector, where levies on imported life-saving drugs have been reduced).
Yet, there have been some less-likely industries for which the Finance Minister paid much more than lip service.
There’s healthcare, where a five-year tax holiday for hospitals set up in semi-urban and rural India should convince healthcare providers to foray into Tier II and Tier III cities.
Of course, it’s impossible to please everybody, and the Budget would have elicited its fair share of gripes from sectors like real estate, infrastructure, and the IT and IT-enabled services (ITES) industry. For instance, there aren’t any major tax changes that impact the real estate sector. The hardware sector has got a leg-up thanks to cuts in customs duty, but the IT industry’s plea for an extension of a tax holiday it till recently enjoyed has not been heeded.
Team Ernst & Young: Dilip Khanna, Ajit Krishnan, Vibhuti Sharma, Sarad Kundu, Aman Raza, Anubhav Sharma, Puja Gupta [Project leaders]; Industry Experts: Gagan Malik, Hrikesh Anjaria [Auto & Auto Components]; Avan Badshaw, Sonali Sinha [BFSI]; Satish Aggarwal, Nitin Gupta [Cement]; Prashant Khatore, Nikita Dhingra [FMCG]; Prashant Khatore, Mona Chhabra [Hospitality & Tourism]; Bharat Varadachari, Jatin Berry [IT & ITES]; Amod Khare, Farokh Balsara [Media & Entertainment]; Ravi Mahajan, Dilip Khanna [Oil & Gas]; Hitesh Sharma, Navroz Mahudawala [Health Sciences]; Avinash Narvekar, Chaula Desai [Power]; Gaurav Karnik, Mona Chhabra [Real Estate]; Prashant Khatore, Nikita Dhingra [Retail]; Sanjeev Jain, Asha Katiyal [Steel & Minerals]; Vishal Malhotra, Nitin Gupta [Telecom]; Heetesh Veera, Sonali Sinha [Textiles]; Satish Aggarwal, Rajesh Samson [Transportation—Road/ Ports/ Aviation].