Expert Zone

Straight from the Specialists

Budget 2014/15 reveals priorities, sets the stage

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

The new Narendra Modi government rides on a long wishlist of policies and reforms, with limited resources. Budget 2014/15, as expected, reveals the government’s priorities in the near and medium term.

Arun Jaitley poses as he leaves his office to present the union budget for the 2014/15 fiscal year in New DelhiThe inflation moderation imperative overshadows near-term headline growth desires, manifested in aggressive (albeit challenging) fiscal deficit targets. The projected fiscal deficit of 4.1 percent (3.6 percent of GDP in FY16) versus the 4.6 percent recorded in FY14, is in line with expectations. The reduction in the budget deficit is driven by hoped-for revenue growth rather than depressed spending growth.

The spending mix is forecast to improve towards more plan and capital spending, which should bode well for the growth outlook. Curtailed non-plan spending growth and subsidies are also a positive.

This budget sets the stage for a future pick-up in growth, rather than drive acceleration in real GDP this year. It does outline both policy initiatives as well as specific schemes (albeit with yet limited fund allocation) to support medium-term growth recovery.

International workers and social security regulations in India

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

The movement of employees across countries has been a growing trend in recent years with increasing multinational presence of companies.

Vodafone ruling will boost foreign investor confidence

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

Amidst dwindling Indian governance on a variety of fronts, the Supreme Court has always been the differentiator. The court-monitored investigations into the 2G scam come to mind, which as most would agree, would prove the inflection point for India’s polity and governance.

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