MUMBAI — The BSE Sensex plummeted 988 points on Saturday to close below the key 40,000-mark, led by an intense broad-based selloff after the Union Budget for 2020-21 failed to live up to market expectations.
Experts said the Budget has been below par considering investors had extremely high expectations from the government to revive the economy.
Nosediving nearly 1,275 points from the day’s high, the 30-share index ended 987.96 points or 2.43% lower at 39,735.53. It hit an intra-day low of 39,631.24 and a high of 40,905.78.
Similarly, the 50-share NSE Nifty plunged 300.25 points or 2.51% to 11,661.85, sinking below the 2019 Budget day level of 11,811.15.
ITC was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, tanking 6.97%, followed by L&T, HDFC, SBI, ONGC, ICICI Bank and IndusInd Bank.
On the other hand, TCS rallied 4.13%, followed by HUL, Nestle India, Tech Mahindra and Infosys.
Presenting the Union Budget for 2020-21, Finance Minster Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to remove dividend distribution tax on companies, effectively shifting the tax burden to recipients at the applicable rate.
She pegged the fiscal deficit at 3.8% in the current fiscal, compared to the earlier target of 3.3% of GDP.
In her second Budget presentation, the finance minister said certain government securities will be open for foreign investors, adding that the Centre plans to increase investment limit for FPIs in corporate bonds from 9% to 15%.
According to Krishna Kumar Karwa, Managing Director-Emkay Global Financial Services, investors are disappointed with no relief on long term capital gains (LTCG) tax and lack of big bang sectoral stimulus.
“The removal of Dividend Distribution Tax seen as a continuation of earlier step of reducing corporate tax is well appreciated and sends the right signals to local and global investors,” he added.