Harsh Mariwala, CMD of Marico, says the intention to control the fiscal deficit and encourage investments in Budget 2013 is a step in the right direction.
What is the big takeaway for you from the budget?
This time round there were high expectations from the budget. That said, I feel the budget is realistic and actionable. There have been several good proposals. The intention to control the fiscal deficit and encourage investments is a step in the right direction.
What do you think is the outlook for the economy?
The proposed 46 per cent hike in rural development is commendable and will garner an increase in the gross domestic product growth (GDP) rate in the long term. I believe if resources are spent wisely, we can achieve a GDP of 6.5 per cent by next year. Significant proposals for improvement in the areas of biotechnology, coconut farming and transportation will also create higher demand, although it may take time to do so.
What is the one thing that stood out for you from the Budget?
The GST (goods and services tax) rollout has also been commissioned in an effective way through the drafting of the Constitution Bill by the state finance ministers. The only flip side is that it may still take up to two years for its implementation as there are many gaps to be filled in and issues to be resolved. Overall, the Budget has not presented any path-breaking innovations such as to involve the private sector in the area of infrastructure development or relating to privatizing of coal mines. Therefore, overall the budget has been good but it could have been more growth oriented.