Bollywood unhappy about no sops in budget

Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, March 1 (IANS) India's multi-million dollar Bollywood movie industry is not upbeat about the budget as the film fraternity feels the government has not offered anything special for it.

Sudhir Mishra: It is insulting that the film industry doesn't even deserve attention. It just goes on to show how much influence the representatives of the film industry exert in the political arena.

Hema Malini: It's a populist budget with an eye on the coming elections. The finance minister has given individual tax relief to the middleclass and waiving of loans for small farmers is a good move. But the burden of Rs.50,000 per farmer is huge. I hope we don't feel its weight in the next budget.

Manoj Bajpai: I'm happy as a farmer's son and disappointed as a member of the film fraternity because everybody has ignored the entertainment slab.

Vashu Bhagnani: The budget is good for farmers who are the pillars of the nation. They should've taken the film industry more seriously. We entertain the whole nation. We need a tax holiday for five years.

Vikram Bhatt: I'm still reading the salient features of the budget. But it seems progressive and aims to encourage the private sector. The reduction in the tax percentage is also good news.

Mahesh Bhatt: I'm happy to see the farmers getting a huge relief. A warm hug to the finance minister for bringing the farmer to the centre stage and giving him what he deserved for a long time.

Anant Mahadevan: The waiver of loans for farmers may set a dangerous precedent. Will farmers expect this each time there are elections and load themselves with debts? Also the reduction in prices of small cars could flood the roads with them. More chaos! This is a please-all-for-sometime budget.

Pavan Malhotra: There's nothing new to the budget and the tax reductions are nothing to rejoice about. It's no surprise that the price of cigarettes have gone up, or that farmers have been offered relief. We've had such populist budgets before, even during Indira Gandhi's regime. I'd say this is a budget of short-term benefits.

Bhavna Talwar: The budget is populist, election-oriented yet visionary. I think we should ensure that the loan waiver percolates down to the desired constituents, the marginal farmer. The middleclass should see hope in the extra tax relief of Rs.50,000.

Vipul Shah: It is a very populist budget. It looks like elections will happen by year-end. But there has been no relief for cinema, so I'm disappointed.

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