India doubled down on its commitment to boost spending, as it expects the benefits to trickle down to the economy staging a world-beating recovery from the pandemic.
“This budget continues to provide impetus for growth,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in Parliament in New Delhi on Tuesday. Benchmark stocks were trading up 1.3% at 11 a.m. in Mumbai, as she started presenting the annual spending plan for the fiscal year beginning April.
The budget is one of the most keenly watched economic events with businesses, investors and India’s 1.4 billion people looking to it for direction on policy and spending priorities. Boosting government expenditure on infrastructure, creating jobs and increasing productivity are key to the country’s sustained recovery from the pandemic-induced contraction last fiscal year.
Ms Sitharaman said her budget proposals will directly benefit the country’s youth, women, farmers, as well as public and private investment.
The budget’s “approach is driven by seven engines,” Ms Sitharaman said, listing roads, railways, airports, ports, mass transport, waterways and logistics infrastructure as the key areas. “All seven engines will pull forward the economy in unison” complemented by energy transmission, IT communication, water and sewerage sector and social infrastructure, she said.
Gross domestic product is seen growing by 9.2% — the quickest rate among major economies — in the current year ending March, with her ministry expecting the performance to be repeated in the next year with an estimated 8%-8.5% expansion.
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