The absence of any bold moves by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in the 2014/15 Interim Budget speech has not come as a surprise to industry. Biocon's chairman and managing director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw says industry was not expecting much from the budget in the first place.
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However, even the relief measures announced for the manufacturing sector, automobiles, blood banks and others, are token measures, feels Mazumdar-Shaw. They may not really jump start manufacturing or the economy. "Today, we have $15 trillion worth of projects stuck in the country because of lack of approvals but the finance minister has only taken token measures," she says.
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She does add that the finance minister could not have been expected to do much too considering the balancing act he had to perform. On some of the measures announced which talked of taking a new direction, such as his remarks about a new approach to funding research and innovation, she says, "It is all very nice but we will need to see the fine print because people need to know how is the competitive process and how is he going to give the tax benefits."
(As told to E Kumar Sharma)