The Union Budget for 2015-16 was presented by Mr Arun Jaitley, Union Minister for Finance, Government of India, in Parliament on February 28, 2015. Focusing on job creation, entrepreneurship, ease of doing business and curbing black money, the budget has laid a very clear roadmap for development of economy and GDP growth. Steps like increase in public spending on infrastructure and to lower the corporate tax rate were cheered by Indian industry. The Indian economy is expected to grow by 8-8.5 per cent in 2015-16, as compared to 7.4 percent in the current fiscal year. "The credibility of the Indian economy has been re-established. The world is predicting that it is India's chance to fly," Mr. Jaitley said in his budget speech.
Announcements like a formal inflation target enshrined in a new RBI Act, keeping the budget deficit to 4.1 per cent of GDP, abolishment of wealth tax, goods and services tax (GST) coming into force as planned in April 2016 and no retrospective application of generalised anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) are some measures that make it a pro-enterprise budget. In addition, removing the distinction between foreign direct investments and foreign portfolio investments is expected to provide more confidence to portfolio investors. An increase of Rs 70,000 crore (US$ 11.4 billion) in road and rail investments next year and setting up of five ultra-mega generation projects is expected to provide fillip to infrastructure sector in the country. Long awaited action of early resolution of commercial disputes through specially created benches would go a long way in establishing India as a destination for manufacturing.
Designed against the backdrop of the new fiscal federalism, the budget focuses on pushing up capital spending simultaneously holding revenue spending. In fact, the several important structural reforms are expected to create a new institutional base for the Indian economy. India Inc and economy experts have already hailed it as one of the best budgets presented in the recent times. Some economists have even labelled it as path to creating an investor-friendly India.