Modi government’s first full budget aims to create jobs and more

World Today

In India, hopes were running high ahead of the first full budget from Narendra Modi’s government. As CCTV’s Shweta Bajaj reported, the government’s plan aims to literally build a road to reviving the country’s economy.

Modi government's first full budget aims to create jobs and more

In India, hopes were running high ahead of the first full budget from Narendra Modi's government. As CCTV's Shweta Bajaj reported, the government's plan aims to literally build a road to reviving the country's economy.

With a lot of expectations, specially to create jobs and take India on a high growth path, the Indian finance minister did not let people down by announcing a budget that addressed various concerns.

The attention was on infrastructure sector. Investment in infrastructure will go up by $11.3 billion in 2015 to 2016. A national infrastructure fund will be set up, along with tax-free infrastructure bonds for projects in roads, rail and irrigation. A restructuring of public private partnership where the government will take up majority of the risk.

The Indian finance minister said all this will made possible by making India investment friendly. “Investors spend a large amount of time and resources on getting the multiple permissions required. We aim towards ease of doing in India. I have myself launched the e-Biz Portal which integrates 14 regulatory permissions at one source. However, if we really want to create jobs, we have to make India an investment destination which permits the start of a business in accordance with publicly stated guidelines and criteria,” Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.

As India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley delivered his first full budget speech under Narendra Modi, he said India’s growth in financial year 2015-2016 will be between 8 and 8.5 percent. Taxes for corporate India were reduced from 30 percent to 25 percent and wealth tax was abolished, but India’s super rich would now pay two percent tax on income above $162,000 per year.

“I am very happy over all. It is not a big bang budget but a long term visionary budget. It has not made any cheap announcement here and there, but is looking at the growth of India and development which the agenda of the government,” Sudhir Jalan, co-chairman of Rieter India, said.

Many expected that India would do away with subsidies and put its money in expenditure. Instead, India announced that it would boost the efficiency of a rural job creation scheme called MNREGA, which is India’s costliest welfare program. It would also boost direct welfare payments into bank accounts, and gradually replace benefits in kind.

India’s budget for years has been a political statement with an aim to make please everyone, but this time it was all about the economy with an attention on growth. India’s poor have also been given attention with a social security scheme and an insurance plan.

With attention on manufacturing sector, India will also be putting in money into job creation and skill development to take advantage of its two-third population that is below the age of 35.