New Delhi: Naina Lal Kidwai, group general manager and country head, HSBC India, on the Union Budget for 2012-13 (Apr-Mar), presented in Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday.

There is an increase in the allocations in the budget for banks that need capital, I am of the school that many of these banks can raise money from the capital market, I would rather have this money put to better use because while government wants to hold on 51%, that can happen in the case of many organisations and many banks as well without government having to put money in them. So, I think that is one statement but it is important at the moment because banks are starved of funds given that they are not going out into the capital market, they need money and government is standing behind then. That is a positive.
   
I think another positive for the banking sector as a whole is there are advantages being put to lending to certain sectors, there is some redefinition of priority sector lending. There are some positives in there which will help banks in terms of meeting priority sector lending targets which are quite tough.
So, overall nothing significant for the banking sector but not negative.
   
There are some positives but we cannot really say that it is a strong pro-reform budget.
   
We were expecting a full removal of the securities transaction tax, in fact there is a 20 pc reduction, so it's a reduction in the right direction.

(Agencies)