New Delhi, February 01, 2024.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the interim Union Budget 2024 on February 1, following which reactions from industries and markets have come in

Manish Kothari, President & Head, Commercial Banking, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd, Said “A directionally positive interim budget – supporting continuity of all critical commitments made by the Govt related to – (a) Fiscal rectitude (managing, both the fiscal deficit for this year at 5.8% as well as confirming the estimates at 5.1% for the coming year and below 4.5% for the year after) and reducing the borrowings for the next year, leaving room for the private sector; (b) Continued capex growth in Infra with an increased outlay of 11.11 L crore and in Railways, Aviation, etc. – for a multiplier effect on the ground; and (c) Continued focus on supporting the four broad pillars (Poor, Women, Youth and Farmers) through various schemes – in a way lifting the bottom of the pyramid for overall progress of the nation!

Madhavan Menon, Executive Chairman, Thomas Cook (India) Limited said “The interim Budget presented by the Finance Minister has focussed on Tourism with a multipronged approach that we believe will create a multiplier effect across aviation, tourism and allied sectors, boosting growth and employment generation. 

“We welcome the announcements on airport development and expansion: having already doubled to 149 airports in the last decade, the government’s plans to boost air connectivity by the addition of 517 new routes across Tier 2-3 cities, carrying 1.3 crore passengers via the UDAN scheme, will play a critical role with vibrant hub and spoke air corridors to boost accessibility-affordability for Regional India.

“Implementation of major rail connectivity corridors via the PM Gati Shakti program together with port and metro/rapid transport expansion will serve to create valuable multi modal connectivity for Tourism.

“We welcome the special focus on Domestic Tourism which represents a vibrant growth driver via the government’s plan of long-term interest free loans to States; development of iconic tourism centres by States along with marketing on global standards. What was noteworthy is the reference to Spiritual Tourism and projects for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure and amenities on islands including Lakshdweep – aimed at development of India’s hidden gems and employment opportunities.