India Budget Expected To Focus On Rural Economy
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants the federal budget unveiled on Monday to appeal to India’s rural poor, officials familiar with his thinking said, in a strategy shift that could boost his ruling party in coming state elections but disappoint investors. His government is expected to increase spending on agriculture, health and social sectors, a change from its focus on infrastructure spending and market reforms, they said. 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 could provide resources to expand the coverage and effectiveness of schemes such as crop insurance, food and fertilizer subsidy, and irrigation,” Chand told Reuters.