Winners and losers: Who got what in India’s pandemic budget

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.

ALSO READ: India’s Spending Spree to Continue in Quest to Revive Growth

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.

Real Estate &

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AI impact: Tech Mahindra to cut BPO staff by 5,000 despite rising revenues

Despite rising revenues, IT major is set to reduce its business process services (BPS) headcount by 5,000 to 38,000 in FY 2020-21, as a larger part of the tasks get completed through automation and artificial intelligence.

Company executives said there is a “non-linearity” between revenue growth and overall headcount as technology makes it possible for a single individual to accomplish multiple tasks.

It can be noted that the business process outsourcing (BPO) vertical, which has its genesis in the ‘call centres’ business of the past, is one of the biggest employment generators in the technology space, where Indian executives handle a slew of processes for overseas clients often across time zones.

had reported a reduction of nearly 2,500 people in its overall headcount in the December quarter, and attributed a bulk of the job losses to the BPS vertical.

“what has happened is I used to have around 43,000 employees at the end of FY20, at the end of FY21, I expect about 38,000 employees in BPS. But that is because the productivity has increased and the revenue has also gone up,” its

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Austrians Defy Ban To Protest Covid Restrictions

Thousands of people, including some neo-nazis, defied a ban to march Sunday in Vienna in protest against the curfew and lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

Police had on Saturday announced a ban on the march after around 10,000 turned up for a similar such protest earlier in the month, many of them ignoring the safety restrictions designed to slow the spread of the virus.

Many of those who took part in Sunday’s march, which was organised by the far-right FPOe party, followed suit, ignoring government regulations on mask wearing and social distancing measures.

Neo-nazi activists were among the crowd, which refused to disband and blocked traffic as it began to march towards the national parliament.

Many of the protesters ignored rules regarding social distancing and the wearing of masks

Police arrested around 10 protesters and four officers were injured during scuffles.

It was the first time that the FPOe, and member Herbert Kickl who is a former interior minister, officially called for a protest against the third Austrian lockdown.

“We are seeing unprecedented censure,” Kickl told media Saturday, before the party put in a second request for a rally permit which was

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