Union Budget, this year, was presented amidst a host of uncertainties. Demonetisation drive and imminent GST drive, new administration in US etc. made the whole exercise very challenging. This year’s Budget was also historic as it broke away from age old tradition of being presented on the last day of February, merged the Rail budget with Union budget and departed from the classification of Plan and Non-Plan expenditure.
The Budget however continues to reflect the Government’s priorities of being pro-poor, pro-rural, and pro-farmer and focuses on the long term agenda of boosting economic growth. The overall objective being to “Transform, Energise and Clean” India, the Budget has adopted a multipronged approach and has given attention to all sectors of the economy with adequate thrust on rural development, agriculture, infrastructure, skill development, manufacturing
and employment generation.
With farmers and rural population being at the top in the list of priorities, a number of measures have been announced to double the income of the Indian farmers in five years. Agriculture credit allocation has been increased to Rs 10 lakh crore. To save the farmer from the natural calamities, target has been increased to cover 40 per cent of crop area under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and corpus under Long Term Irrigation Fund has been increased to Rs 40,000 crores.
Launch of Swayam with over 300 online courses and allocation of Rs 4,000 crore to train the youth for market-oriented skills under Sankalp are aimed at making India the skill capital of the world.
A number of measures have been taken to encourage investments and increase the Ease of Doing Business Taken together, the Budget 2017-18 reiterates the Government’s intentions to bring about greater transparency, reduce corruption and achieve faster economic growth and is a step further in this direction with something for everyone to smile.