For one, the budget does the right thing by reducing direct taxation and increasing indirect taxation. This increases compliance, because the poor overtaxed salaried guy (aside - this is not anecdotal - India has one of the highest personal and corporate tax regimes globally. Scandinavian and developed countries have higher overall tax rates, but they more than compensate in the form of social security benefits. Most Asian countries have tax rates closer to 16-20%. Not surprisingly, compliance is abysmal - close to a pathetic 12-15% from the figures I remember seeing most recently) gets relief; and the smirking tax-stealing business guy pays up more indirectly for all the conspicuous consumption. Reduced direct taxation also stimulates the economy by incentivizing greater consumption - we are a unique country which does not depend on exports for growth, and we should try our damnedest to keep it that way.
Secondly, the budget signals a return to fiscal prudence by targeting a lower fiscal deficit (through lower 'non-productive' non-plan expenditure) and makes a case for transparent and proper reporting of the deficit. No more hiding subsidies 'below the line' by issuing oil bonds and all other kinds of instruments designed to win votes today but burden our children and grandchildren for all time. Additionally, the budget firmly puts disinvestment as a revenue source. Less government is good government.
For all the hoo-haa the short sighted scaremongers in the BJP and the perennially stick-up-my-ass communists are making about petrol price hikes, I think it is a good thing. Petrol prices need to be deregulated - normal laws of economics (demand drops on rising prices) need to be allowed to work. For the economy as well as for the environment.
If anything, the budget should have firmly introduced fuel price decontrol, the direct tax code as well as the GST tax regime. But overall, I look at the budget as a glass slightly more than half-full.
And the hypocritical opposition can shout themselves hoarse.