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What Bollywood thinks of Budget 2008-09

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Finance Minister P Chidambaram
Hema Malini: "It's a populist budget with one eye on the upcoming elections. The Finance Minister has given much relief to the middleclass on the individual-tax front. And the waiving of loans for small farmers is a good move. But the burden of 50,000 rupees per farmer is huge. I hope we don't feel the weight in the next budget. Overall, its a mixed budget."

Manoj Bajpai: "I'm happy as a farmer's son and disappointed as a member of the film fraternity coz the entertainment slab is being ignored by everybody!"

Vikram Bhatt: "I'm still reading the salient features of the budget. But it seems progressive and aimed at encouraging the private sector. Also, the reduction in the tax percentage is good news.

Mahesh Bhatt: "Happy to see the farmers get a huge relief. A warm hug to the Finance Minister for bringing the farmers centre stage and giving them what they long-deserved."

c: "Very populist budget. It looks like elections will happen by year-end. No relief for cinema. So I'm disappointed. But good news for agriculture."

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 the prices of small cars could flood the roads with them. More chaos! This is a please-all-for-sometime budget. I wish cigarettes and gutka were taxed further."

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 5 years.

Sudhir Mishra: "Really insulting that the film industry doesn't even deserve attention. Just goes to show how much influence our great film industry representatives have in the political arena. However, this is offset by the waiver of loans for small farmers. I think that's an outstanding step."

Pavan Malhotra: "There's nothing new about the budget, and the tax reductions are nothing to rejoice about. No surprise that the price of cigarettes have gone up or those farmers have been offered relief. That's the predictable course to take. We've had such populist budgets before, even during Mrs. Indira Gandhi's regime. The minute you say, you are reducing the price of a two-wheeler but increasing the price of cement, you've making a fundamental mistake in envisioning the future. 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 seem hopeful in the fact that they get an extra 50,000 rupees per annum at least, on the table."

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