This was probably the toughest budget yet for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as his government navigates the twin challenges of steering the $2.7-trillion Indian economy out of an unprecedented recession while ensuring more resources to fight the century’s worst pandemic.
Although his personal popularity remains intact, angry farmers on the streets and soaring rates of joblessness had raised budget expectations in the nation that has been the second-worst hit by Covid-19. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had promised an unprecedented budget aimed at buoying the economy.
Here’s a short list of winners and losers from Monday’s budget announcements.
The Covid-19 pandemic prompted Sitharaman to boost healthcare spending by 137% this year, an improvement over the less than 2% of gross domestic product that India has traditionally spent on health annually. The announcement extended shares of hospital operators including Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd., Max Healthcare Institute Ltd. and Narayana Hrudayalaya Ltd. Other companies likely to benefit may include Dr Lal Pathlabs Ltd., Metropolis Healthcare Ltd. and Thyrocare Technologies Ltd.
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