he budget tackles broader macro-economic issues quite adequately, specially on the inflation front. It has worked clearly on two issues—to create more supply which has been done by reducing import duties and by incentivising industries like cement and controlling the futures in wheat. It will be wrong to say that the recent state elections would have had any impact on the budget measures, which would have been prepared much before their outcomes. The industry is indeed disappointed that nothing has been done for it but it is a reflection that the industry has performed well. As far as bringing the IT sector under MAT, I don’t see why IT sector should not be MAT-ted. The telecom sector has been under MAT despite negative cashflows. And bringing ESOPs under FBT looks justified if you accept that all benefits should be taxed.
(Mittal is chairman, Bharti Enterprises)