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Infrastructure woes

Redistributive schemes take their toll on allocation

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Interim Budget 2019 | Interim Budget

Business Standard Editorial Comment 

The first National Democratic Alliance government, under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, gave infrastructure development priority and treated it as the most important engine of economic growth and job creation in the country. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi too this focus has stayed, as reflected in allocations in the last four Budgets. In this year’s interim Budget, however, the central focus was on reaching out to the disadvantaged sections of society. To a great extent, the government’s Budget priorities mirrored the electoral pressures as well as the populist tone across political parties in the run-up to the elections. That is why the focus was on the direct income support for small and marginal farmers, the pension scheme for unorganised sector workers, and the income tax rebate to those earning up to Rs 5 lakh annually. On the whole, it appears the government has had to rationalise its resources and cut its budgetary allocations to infrastructure development in order to accommodate the additional expenditure on account of schemes such as PM-KISAN and income tax rebate.

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First Published: Tue, February 05 2019. 22:32 IST
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