India's Budget Focuses on Rural Development

February 29
6:02 AM 2016

India's government released the annual budget that targets to increase farm growth and help the rural poor.  The country's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley plans of doubling the farmer's income in the next five years.  The said budget will be allocated to boost sectors including agricultural, health and social, transformation on its infrastructure expenditures and market reforms.

India has surpassed China as the world's fastest-growing economy and is seen as a bright spot in the ever-growing global economy. However, the country is suffering from severe drought and had been beaten by slowing global demand.

According to BBC News, Mr. Jaitley estimated 120 million farmers in India. He said, "We are grateful to our farmers for being the backbone of the country's food security."  He said the government had allocated $12.7bn (£9.15bn) for "rural development as a whole".

The allocated budget includes the setting up of 89 projects for irrigation, providing twice the investments in rural roads for faster transport of farmers' produce to markets, delivery of LPG to millions of poor households and provides funds for female entrepreneurs from unfortunate families.

"We will have to reform the agriculture markets, invest more resources to deal with the agrarian crisis - all of this could be an integral part of this year's budget," said Ramesh Chand, a member of the federal planning body Niti Aayog that gave the finance ministry inputs.

The budget is being looked forward to oppose criticism before the elections in the central area farming states including West Bengal this year and Uttar Pradesh by next year.  Changing the focus will possibly disappoint markets and capitalists.  The increase in social spending could raise India's closely watched financial decrease to 3.8% of GDP next financial year from a goal of 3.5%, as one official said, CNBC reports.

Based on Khaleej Times, small tax payers get relief with the unveiling of India's national budget for the year 2016-2017 in Lok Sabha.  People who only rent houses are qualified for deductions of up to Rs. 60,000 from Rs. 24,000.  The tax rebate ceiling for Rs. 500,000 earner a year was increased to Rs. 5,000 from the current Rs. 2,000, according to Mr. Jaitley. 

The budget will increase spending on hefty rural job projects, crop insurance program and enrich rural access to the Internet. It would also work to assure that all of the country's villages will have electricity in two years.

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