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The upcoming Budget 2018, which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present on February 1, is expected to be more significant than other recent ones, especially as it is coming after a year full of radical reforms by the Narendra Modi government such as demonetization of high-value currency notes, implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) and a new bankruptcy regime.
The year 2017 ended on a high with gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the July-September quarter standing at 6.3%, indicating the significant impact of the two structural reforms — GST and demonetisation — is now behind us and, hopefully we could expect an upward growth in 2018.
I am hopeful that this year, too, there will be a thrust on skill enhancement to aid job creation. This would us leverage our demographic dividend more effectively.
Technological disruptions in the form of artificial intelligence and machine learning are a reality now, and they have been shaping the narrative of India’s recent economic growth and digital transformation. So, if we truly need to change the game, there needs to be a singular focus on rolling out initiatives to boost the adoption of technology for education and skilling, and infusing a new breath of life into our vocational education courses to meet the aspirations of new India through public-private partnerships.
There are hopes from the central government to further the revival of the economy. Through initiatives like the ‘Make in India’ programme, it has not only boosted the confidence of local businesses, but also increased the room to facilitate more exports from the country. This will, in turn, also support creation of jobs in the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors, strengthening the backbone of our economy.
The author is the managing director of Monster.com for Asia-Pacific and West Asian regions