The third Budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for 2016-17 reminded me of the 2014 lok sabha campaigns where numerous block buster promises were made. There are positive vibes from across the world but the sluggish implementation policy couldn’t take advantage of that. The economic surgery of Finance Ministry about India needing a urgent strategy and implementation for a robust increase in economic growth.
This time the government has not played its dice on metros to boost economy but farms. No big bang reforms were laid down on the table , they emphasized more on infrastructure , simplification of tax regime , cyber security , R&D , organic farming , better connectivity, food processing units , FDI and a heavy dose of funds for the 68% rural population and farmers.
Investing in the farm sector which only accounts for 17.4 % in GDP is gamble played by the government.
Will it pay off or sink as the monsoon irregularities have hit in the past two years.
” Mere desh Ki dharti sone ugle , ugle heere moti ” A song by Bharat kumar was a revolutionary one and Arun sahab has invested in the lyrics of this song giving yet another proof of being a nationalist and related to ground . The agricultural sector grew by 3.8 percent in 2013 when the GDP grew by 6.9 but the agricultural sector grew by 1.1 % in 2014 GDP grew by 7.29% thus the monsoon hit past and low reliability on farm sector has made this shot a real gamble.
Though the budget has got the positive response , a witty budget which is tough to criticize. NSE jumped 777 points , making the highest one day jump in the post budget day . Modi government somehow doesn’t make up on the manufacturing sector accounting for 16% of GDP . The lion faces like MAKE IN INDIA and DIGITAL INDIA has got less from the budget.
Lets have a look at the budget of 2016-17 .
In the Budget speech Arun Jaitley explained” Since foreign markets are weak , we must rely on domestic demand and Indian markets to ensure the India’s growth does not slow down ” . And what a better way to invest in India than farms .
: ₹44,485 crores for ministry of agriculture and Farmers welfare . ( 94% growth from 2015-16 budget )
: ₹29,517 crores for irrigation.
: ₹600 crore for groundwater management.
: ₹5,500 crore for Prime minister Fasal Bima Yojna
: ₹900 crore for price stabilization fund to create buffer stock of pulses .
: ₹ 412 crore for organic farming . ( bt cotton seeds have made India the largest producer of cotton ) ( 29.5 million bales of cotton , 1 bale = 170 kg )
Taking in for sure that monsoon wil favour the budget , the challenge is to executive to provide funds to the last person in the chain.
Ill facilitated and less developed rural population clouds towards the urban areas in search of jobs and health facilities. The RURBANISATION plan of government a need of the hour . Government has shown a constructive will towards the development of rural sector , for execution – we wait !
: ₹87,765 crores for rural development. (10% growth)
: ₹38,500 crores for MAGNREGS . A job creative scheme by UPA has got 11% budget hike this year. Though 43,000 jobs were lost in the last two years.
: ₹8,500 crores for 100% rural electrification .
: ₹ 655 crore for Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan
: ₹20,000 crores for NABARD ( NATIONAL BANK FOR AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT)
: ₹60,000 crores for groundwater reacharging.
: 28 lakh hectare land to be brought under organic farming .
The government has planned to double the farm income by 2022 , a highly doubtful one. The Fact that farming only accounts for 17% of GDP will be able to give the rocket speed to development is open to debate .
The NDA government has planned to work on infrastructure to give the last mile connectivity , better living facilities , schools and hospitals , power demand .
A concrete step in Infrastructure was in need for sustainable development.
: ₹97,000 crores for total road construction (106% growth) . A whooping fund transfer shows the will of government to reach the last person.
: ₹800 crores for development of ports and waterways . This will give better capacity and efficiency of ports . Will launch greenfield ports in eastern and western coasts.
: ₹300 crore foe nuclear power generation. With goal to achieve , to electrify every part of India , nuclear power harnessing capability must be increased along with the use of hydropower potentials to generate enough for the need of 125 crore population.
PROBLEM TO BE FACED :
: The NPA ( NON PERFORMING ASSETS ) of the PSU banks worth ₹4.5 lakh crore , a major road block in the recent budget . 25,000 crore has been given for recapitalization , a mere aid .
: Exports have slipped for 14 months in a row.
: Manufacturing sector hasn’t got the attention it needed to attain the position of 25% part of GDP.
: New Infrastructure and irrigation tax has been imposed on luxury SUV’S and other commodities , giving a total of 119 services to be taxed while there were 3 in 1994 .
: Projects worth ₹10.74 lakh crore were held up from Dec 2015 due to land acquisition, financial problems and lack of clearances.
: No major steps in job creation for the 65 % youth , a major part of NDA’S electorate.
A lot is expected from this budget if the monsoon and oil prices rolled down towards the Modi government and funds allocated are well used and provided to the last person .
It is time that the promises made by Modi should come on ground . It is time for him to act or perish in the coming state elections and 2019 lok sabha polls .
Its not a revolutionary budget as the 1991 by Manmohan Singh for UPA. It is the high time when the government should work with full power to boost economy, create jobs , harness every potential of power , strengthen SME’s , improved security , ease In doing business to gain FDI .
A lot is at stake.
We wait !
By Ayush Verma for DU Times