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Budget 2017 to drive growth in rural India: India Inc

Feb 03, 2017

According to high allocation to rural India will give a fillip to various ancillary industries boosting overall growth.

New Delhi: The Indian Budget 2017 announced a slew of measures focusing on rural development including embarking on an ambitious target of making fifty thousand Gram Panchayats poverty free.

The government also promised to raise the economic status of rural people by boosting farmers’ income by promising to double it in next five years and speeding up rural development.

The Finance Minister said that the Government has proposed to increase the allocations for Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Rural Livelihood Mission for promotion of skill development and livelihood opportunities for people in rural areas to Rs 4,500 crore in 2017-18.

Corporate leaders have hailed the budget as not only promising for the marginalised communities, but the one that will boost the overall economy.

A Vellayan, Executive Chairman, Murugappa Group:

The Finance minister has commendably ensured the right balance between maintaining fiscal discipline and growth measures, giving impetus to the agricultural sector and rural population on the one hand and by soothing the nerves of billion Indians post demonetisation with tax and infrastructure reforms on the other.

The focus on the agriculture and rural sector is a welcome and necessary move. Farmers will benefit from the increase in agricultural credit to Rs 1 0 lakh Cr. This high allocation will also give a fillip to the various ancillary industries and sectors supporting agriculture.

Increasing the coverage of the Fasal Bima Yojana from 30% of cropped area, to 40% and 50% over the next two years will reduce income uncertainty of farmers. Moves such as augmenting the Long Term Irrigation Fund by 100% and increasing the coverage of the e-National Agricultural Markets will improve the infrastructure of the sector.

Key reforms that can bring about significant structural change include the model law on contract farming and the move to urge States to de-notify perishables from the APMC.

Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL):

We are well on our way to achieving 100% village electrification by May 2018. It is globally accepted that access to energy is fundamental to economic growth and human development

Today’s Budgetary announcements demonstrate the futuristic approach of our government cutting across key themes of economic and social development.

Sumant Sinha, CEO, ReNew Power Ventures:

The Union Budget of 2017-2018 is extremely balanced containing a lot of positives. While strong on reforms, fiscal numbers and macroeconomic parameters, the Budget has aimed looking to boost the rural and agriculture sectors.

On the renewable energy front no mention of GBI for the wind sector has been a disappointment. However, roll out of the second phase of solar development of another 20,000 MW will go a long way in cementing India’s position in the global solar industry.

With the Railways also going the solar route, it signifies a significant change towards the use of green and clean energy for one of the largest modes of transport in the country.

M Murali, Managing Director, Shriram Properties:

This is a well balanced, mixed and a progressive Budget coming in the wake of series of reforms aimed at increased transparency, elimination of corruption and growth of digitalisation.

Focus on farmers and rural spending to encourage rural employment is most welcome, as India being basically an agrarian economy.

Umesh Revankar, MD & CEO, Shriram Transport Finance Company:

The Union Budget 2017 continues to rightly focus on rural development and infrastructure sector. The planned investment in these two critical areas will not only create jobs but also give impetus to demand generation and economic growth.

Rahul Nahar, Founder, XRBIA Developers:

It is a dream budget for affordable housing. Infrastructure status will transform the sector much like deregulation did to telecom in the 1990's.

Gunjan Srivastava, MD &CEO, BSH Household Appliances:

The Union Budget 2017 began by showcasing India as an engine of global growth with major emphasis laid on rural development this year.

Dr Vivekanand Jha, Executive Director, The George Institute for Global Health India:

We welcome the increase in health allocation to Rs. 47,352 crores, an increase of RS 10,000. We do hope this will support increase in essential healthcare delivery with the aim of achieving universal healthcare.

However, we also feel that the Budget does not provide information on follow up on the reforms announced by the Finance Minister in the budget proposals of the previous year, where he focused on the rising burden of non-communicable diseases especially kidney disease and launched a national dialysis programme. While he has announced the conversion of 1.5 lakh sub-centres into wellness centres, we have to look at the details in terms of how wellness is being defined.

We wish there was more in the budget 2016-17 to reassure us that the mismatch between the current and future disease burden, and the health policy has been recognised and will be addressed.

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