New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley began presenting India’s national budget for the next fiscal in the Lok Sabha on Monday, saying India remained a bright spot of the global economy while assuring continuity in reforms along with fiscal discipline.
“I am presenting the budget when the global economy is in crisis,” Jaitley said in his opening remarks, adding that India, however, remained the bright spot in this gloom, turning difficulties into opportunities.
He said India’s growth has expanded 7.5 percent, despite slowdown in exports, even as inflation had eased, bringing big relief to the general public. He also said foreign exchange reserves were robust. “Indian growth is at an extraordinary high.”
Jaitley said his budget will look at three pillars in right earnest: A prudent fiscal policy, raise domestic demand and carry out reforms. He also said farm, rural sector, infrastructure and social sector will be allotted more money.
“Recapitalization of banks also to be done during next fiscal year,” he said, as much concern have emerged over the quantum of exposure of Indian scheduled banks in terms of gross non-productive assets, re-cast loans and write-offs, which amounts to Rs.9.5 lakh crore.
He said the nine pillars of this year’s budget will be: agriculture, social programmes, rural development, education with skill development, infrastructure, financial reforms, policy reforms in terms of ease of doing business, fiscal discipline and tax reforms.
“A unified agriculture platform to be dedicated to the nation on the birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Amebdkar,” the finance minister said, amid applause from the benches.