Even the most critical commentators were muted in their response to the Budget 2021. Besides the obvious – increase in capital expenditure, the headline for us was the deliberate use of the word privatization, including in the banking sector and FDI of 74% in Insurance (albeit with some riders). It communicates to the investor community (domestic but most importantly foreign) that India is committed to reform, even in the face of stiff opposition to farm reforms, which most agree is good for the country, even if they disagreed with the manner it was brought in or the challenges it will have in its implementation.
After India reached a peak of COVID-19 in mid-September, the caseload has been declining for over a month. Some experts believe that the COVID-19 pandemic may have already peaked and, if the usage of masks and social distancing measures continue, the disease may “run its course” by February 2021. However, many experts fear that the festive season along with the onset of winter may lead to a second wave of infections across the country, which may be much stronger than the first.