Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the country’s national budget for the financial year 2016-17 on Monday. In his hour and half long speech, Jaitley tried to touch upon India’s rural problems and infrastructure with a commitment to create jobs for rural India.
With state elections round the corner in populous states like West Bengal this year and Uttar Pradesh in 2017, Modi Government did try to keep rural voters and farmers in mind while announcing the union budget 2016-17. Experts and economists stated that Arun Jaitley’s third budget is a balanced one barring few points. Finance Minister announced that a whopping Rs. 850-crore to be spent on animal husbandry, cattle and livestock breeding in the next few years which clearly indicates NDA government’s priority on country’s primary sector and rural livelihood. The government has also allocated a huge Rs. 38500-crore for MNREGA.
Highlights of Union Budget 2016-17
- Public investment in Infrastructure is hiked by 22.5 % with strong focus towards job creation.
- India would continue to grow by more than 7.6% GDP growth rate in the coming years despite the global slowdown in economic growth.
- Jaitley allocated Rs. 35,984-crore to improve rural infrastructure including job creation for rural youths, farmers’ welfare and towards building roads in those areas.
- The Union government allocated Rs. 2.21-trillion for infrastructure development across the country in 2016-17.
- India’s forex reserves has currently reached to highest ever $350-billion.
- Start-ups (firms which have recently launched their business) to get 100% tax exemption for 3 years.
- Employees not receiving HRA (House Rent Allowance) will get a tax reduction of Rs. 24000 per year.
- An allocation of Rs. 25000-crore to Public Sector Banks for recapitalization.
- The union government dedicated Rs. 1000-crore for higher education in India.
- Income Tax slab to stay unchanged for financial year 2016-17.
Union Budget 2016-2017: An Analysis
From hindsight, this was one of the most balanced budgets that India has witnessed in recent times, but it has certainly missed to address some of the critical issues before the nation’s economy.
Constant decline in nation’s Export due to global economic downturn and other reasons is a point to ponder over. Finance minister didn’t address to India’s overall performance in exports and international trade as much as expected.
Similarly, despite the nation’s relentless commitment to climate change at the Climate Summit, Paris, reduction in budgetary fund allocation for the Minister of Environment and Forests saw a sharp drop from Rs. 1,446-crore for FY 2015-16 to Rs. 480-crore for 2016-17. And finally, the government seemed to have overlooked the reasons why the value of dollar is appreciating so much and how to tackle the same. When Modi Government took charge, the rate of $1 to rupee was around 58 INR but in the last two years the exchange rate has climbed to Rs. 68 for 1 USD, which is certainly not good for the nation’s economy. Otherwise the Union Budget 2016 is a satisfactory one and will give boost to nation’s economic growth and development.
Also Read : How budget can help Miserable Farmers.