Budget 2016 To Pivot Around Reforms And Rural Uplift
The government is working on a two-pronged Budget that will further structural reform to lift growth while putting in place a package that will seek to address rural stress through broader social security measures and changes in agricultural policy. The Budget, which will be presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on February 29, will also focus on credit issues and greater access to equity funds. “The Budget is going to provide a momentum to the market side of the economy and also focus on the pro-poor side of the economy,” said a senior finance ministry official, outlining the twin thrust areas. Though the economy is forecast to grow 7.6% in the current fiscal, it’s riding only on urban demand and government capital spending, with little contribution from the rural economy, the jobs-intensive construction sector and exports. After two successive bad monsoons, the Budget will seek to alleviate rural stress through more social initiatives and an emphasis on irrigation to de-risk agriculture.