26 October, 2020

Who's Afraid Of The Budget?

Global triggers affect our bourses more -- sign of a maturing market

Who's Afraid Of The Budget?
When a butterfly flaps its wings over China, the shudder is felt in Indian stockmarkets. Perhaps, it was a reflection of the fading significance of Budget Day on our stockmarkets that the Sensex was down by over 600 points on the morning of February 28 and the finance minister had not even stood up to speak. Global market sentiment, nervous about the US and Chinese economies, were a bigger force on Budget Wednesday than the country's income and expense statement for the coming year.

Diminished significance notwithstanding, with seven trading sessions of losses behind them, traders were chary of any 'unpleasant surprises' from the budget though none were expected. By the time P. Chidambaram rose to speak in Parliament, markets had stabilised a bit and the Sensex was down by about 370 points.

Then came the few blows on the income side. The first landed on the cement sector. Excise duty on cement retailing for over Rs 190 per bag went up to Rs 400-600 per metric tonne. The FM did announce a reduced excise of Rs 350 per metric tonne for...


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