About half an hour into his presentation of Union Budget 2016, it seemed fairly clear that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has taken cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in presenting a Budget that has rural push as one big focus area.
“Indian economy has held its ground firmly. Global economy is in serious crisis; financial markets have been battered and trade contracted,” he said.
“Indian growth is extraordinary high; we converted difficulties and challenges into opportunity: Growth has accelerated to 7.6 pc in 2015-16 notwithstanding contraction of global exports”, he said.
“Our external situation is robust, CAD has declined to $14.4 billion this year, will be 1.4 pc of GDP at the end of fiscal. CPI inflation was 9.4 per cent in the last 3 years of previous government. It has come down to 5.5 per cent now,” he read during his presentation of the Budget.
“We had to work in an unsupportive global environment and obstructive political atmosphere. We must strengthen firewalls against risks through structural reforms; rely on domestic market so that growth does not slow down,” said the Finance Minister.
“The government to enhance expenditure for social, rural and agri sector. Next financial year will cast an additional burden due to implementation of 7th Pay Commission and OROP.”
“Govt is launching a new initiative to provide cooking gas to BPL families with state support.”
“We will enact a law to confer benefits on deserving sections on Aadhar platform. Will also provide incentive for deepwater gas exploration. We will work for passage of insolvency and bankruptcy laws. We will undertake significant reforms” said Jaitley.
The Centre will undertake 9-point reforms including steps to ensure ease of business in governance, fiscal discipline to ensure benefits for people and tax reforms to ensure compliance.
“Five lakh acres of land to be brought under Organic farming in three years under Krishi Vikas Yojana,” said Jaitley.
“Rural electrification plan stands to provide power to 5542 villages in February 2016, more than total combined achievement of previous three years.” PTI