Expert Zone

Straight from the Specialists

Budget 2013: What the oil and gas sector expects

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Reuters)

India’s oil and gas sector, often regarded as the country’s growth engine, has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade, but the quest to reach the top of global league remains a challenge because of rising under-recoveries and lack of policy incentives.

The sector is a key revenue earner for the central and state governments. In 2011/12, it contributed 2,327.69 billion rupees to central and state governments in taxes, accounting for 20.6 percent of total indirect taxes.

At a time when the government earns a chunk of its revenue from the oil sector, the finance minister should consider including in Budget 2013 proposals to lower or exempt the sector from various taxes.

The recent announcement of a partial deregulation of diesel prices, with market-linked price for bulk users and graded increase in retail prices till price parity, is a welcome move. However, the need of the hour is complete deregulation of fuel prices and allowing market forces to set the benchmark in tandem with global oil prices.

Budget 2013: Consistent reforms, effective execution is the key

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Reuters)

In what is widely perceived to be the UPA government’s final budget before polls due next year, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram is likely to continue with the economic reforms he introduced in recent months.

Although these policy announcements may have boosted sentiment, the key to long-term economic growth is consistency, transparency and speed, followed by effective execution on the ground.

Budget 2013: Focusing on growth Chidambaram’s only hope

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not those of Reuters)

When P. Chidambaram entered the corridors of  North Block in August last year after his appointment as India’s finance minister for the third time, he had his work cut out.

India was facing fiscal and current account deficits, an infrastructure bottleneck, high inflation, slowing growth and an increasing subsidy burden. Adding to the country’s woes was the threat of a rating downgrade.

Keeping fingers crossed in the run-up to Budget 2012

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

It’s interesting that in India, the run-up to the annual Budget means individuals, companies and industry associations keep their fingers crossed in the hope their annual budgets don’t get affected by the announcements of the Finance Minister.

Budget 2012: Common man’s expectations

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

The weeks before the Union budget are days of wishful thinking for the common man. It is always the expectation that the threshold and tax exemption limits will be increased. This year is no exception, and the common man would definitely be happy if his wishes are met.

Budget 2012-13: Expectations and exigencies

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

The Union budget has always provided major policy direction which has been anxiously awaited by the common man and the industry. But over the years, the tax system has become more crystallised and yet expectations have not ceased.

Budget 2011: Expectation of telecom sector


(The views expressed in the column are the author’s own and not those of Reuters)

With urban mobile penetration nearing 100 percent and rural mobile penetration around 25 percent, I think the government’s plans for enabling rural inclusion can give a big boost through telecom in disseminating banking, healthcare, education, specialised offerings for fishermen, artisans, etc. through e-connectivity. It needs focus, attention and support of government through various financial measures.

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