Hope and hype: PM Modi's 'thank you voter' budget a victim of his own success

The new government has delivered its first budget studded with tax breaks, bold structural reforms and tighter spending. In an ideal world that would be hailed as a dream budget, considering the current weakness in the national economy.

Yet, so high are the expectations from Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the budget has failed to generate the kind of euphoria usually associated with anything bearing his stamp. The budget, thus, appears to have become a victim of Modi's own success.

While investors had hoped Modi would use his strong election mandate to unleash a raft of reforms comparable to the opening up of the economy in 1991, many voters expected him to work a miracle to curb prices, create millions of new jobs and improve people's lifestyles.

In what is clearly a 'thank you voter' budget, the government raised tax income exemption limits, cut prices of middle class aspirations goods such as LCD/LED television sets and branded clothes, eased norms to boost housing as well as raised tax incentives on home loans.

Still, it was no mindless revenue-eroding populism.

Jaitley presented a budget to parliament on Thursday that not only vowed financial probity by restricting the fiscal deficit to 4.1% of gross domestic product in 2014-15, but also virtually keeping spending unchanged if one takes inflation into consideration.

In a signature initiative, which has been awaiting parliamentary nod for more than a decade, the government said it will also lift limits on foreign investment in defence and insurance to 49% from 26%

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