India's budget pleases all

Chidambaram walks a tightrope to keep all sides happy with his first budget.

Palaniappan Chidambaram pledged to continue the disinvestment of state companies in his first budget for India's new government. The finance minister also scrapped some capital gains taxes, upped foreign investment limits in several industries and promised sustained GDP growth of 7% to 8%.

The biggest immediate fillip for the market was Chidambaram's announcement that the government would piggyback on the public offer of state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation NTPC, doubling the size of the deal to Rs40 billion $872 million. NTPC was originally slated to sell 5% in a primary offer, but the government will now also sell 5% of its own stake in the company, which left bankers...

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