Stock markets opened higher on Thursday, ahead of the interim Union budget leading up to national elections later this year. Sensex was trading at 71,765 points as of 9.15 am IST, suggesting the NSE Nifty 50 opened 20 points higher at 21,746.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to avoid spending big on new welfare programmes in the budget before the general election and instead focus on infrastructure, while narrowing the budget gap.
While major policy changes and announcements are unlikely, the expansion in the government’s capital expenditure and the extent of fiscal consolidation would be scrutinised closely, ICRA said in a note.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will announce the budget for the financial year 2024-25, which starts on April 1, at 11 am.
Shares of fintech firm Paytm tanked 20% after the Reserve Bank of India restricted Paytm Payments Bank from fresh deposits and credit transactions across its services due to supervisory concerns.