Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the country’s national budget for the financial year 2016-17 on 29th February, 2016.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 state like West Bengal this year and Utter 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 whooping 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.
I, with my basic knowledge on finance and economics could to some extent relate budget positively for a long term plan but not for a short term result. So, I would like to hear valid discussion and points to both, the negative and positive implications of the Union Budget 2016.
The government introduced digital depository for all documents related to the educations sector. The announcement of 62 New Navodaya Vidyalayas will also accelerate the rate of education among the backward class population. But the matter of concern is that the state of Tamil Nadu opposes any such move and hence remains the only state in the country without any Navodaya School.
Total outlay for infrastructure given in this budget was around 2, 21.246 crore along with 100% FDI in marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India. The budget did not emphasize in new procurement of any new artillery and weapons for the aging fleet of navy and air force. Space programmed also got a minimal share in spite of recent commercial success of ISRO.
To make sure the hoarders of black money declare their asset, Finance minister laid down a proposal wherein after paying total black money as tax and surcharge, the person would assure protection from any kind of prosecution.
Government announced 2000- crore rupees as LPG subsidies for BPL. Under Jan Aushadhi Yojana, it was decided to open more 3000 stores across the length and breadth of country which can surely increase the health of the society at large especially in rural areas. In the sector of agriculture, major emphasis was given on Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana.
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.
Contest decline in nation’s Export due to global economic downturn and other reasons are point to ponder over. Finance minister didn’t address to India’s 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 Forest saw a sharp drops 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 dollars 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 boost nation’s economic growth and development.
It can be concluded that the overall Union Budget target the economic prosperity of poor and rural people but somewhere down the line gave a miss to the implementation of provisions programmes and schemes and upliftment of the Indian currency which is constantly losing its shine in the international market.
- GUPTA POOJA NANDLAL