New Delhi: 

Noted industrialist Anand Mahindra gave a guarded review of the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s first union budget on Friday, balancing rare criticism for the lack of splashy announcements with generous praise for its long term plans. He also shared his take on the stock market’s glum reaction to the budget, saying that the increased income tax rates likely to hit the wealthy had “spooked” them.

In a series of tweets, the 64-year-old chairman of the Mahindra Group said while he had hoped Ms Sitharaman, the country’s first full-time woman finance minister would “hit some boundaries… she chose instead to take steady singles & keep the run-rate moving.”

“Despite expectations of big moves to instantly crank-up the economy she decided to keep her eye firmly on the long term,” said Mr Mahindra, one of the most respected business titans in the country, hours after Ms Sitharaman presented the budget, the first for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term.

The share market spiralled downwards after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the budget, proposing to increase the minimum public shareholding in listed companies to 35 per cent from 25 per cent, threatening a wave of new issuance.

Corporate taxes were cut to 25 per cent for a wider section of firms, but the government also raised import tariffs on items such as gold and imposed an additional duty on petrol and diesel, stoking fears of inflation.

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