You are here: Home » Budget » News
Business Standard

India's budget will boost infra, create new jobs: US chamber of commerce

Fiscal deficit is projected to be high, but these are extraordinary times. India has been fiscally prudent compared to other countries at a time of unprecedented economic pressure

Budget 2021 | infrastructure | Budget Speech

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Budget 2021, Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman holds a folder case containing the Union Budget 2021-22, during the Budget Session of the Parliament, at Parliament House in New Delhi. Photo: PTI

A Boston-based India-centric chamber of commerce on Monday said the increase in healthcare outlay in the latest annual budget will lead India towards a healthier country and the thrust on will boost growth and generate jobs.

"Overall, these announcements are rightly directed to support the healthcare sector not only in terms of expenditure but also to support research and development. The increase in the healthcare outlay will lead India towards a healthier India. A healthier workforce will lead to higher productivity, which will drive GDP growth," Karun Rishi, president of the USA India Chamber of Commerce, said.

The finance minister has done a remarkable job in presenting a growth-focussed budget during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic-hit circumstances, he said, adding that the budget is transparent and has rationalised the off-balance-sheet borrowings and headlined fiscal deficit numbers.

Fiscal deficit is projected to be high, but these are extraordinary times. India has been fiscally prudent compared to other countries at a time of unprecedented economic pressure due to COVID-19. The government has stated a glide path of reducing the fiscal deficit over five years. The deficit comes down to four per cent by 2026. Growth has to be aggressively pursued. Sluggish growth can leave open the danger of high debt to GDP ratio, Rishi said.

"The bold-thinking announcement of an asset reconstruction company that will assume all the stressed assets of banks and sell them to alternative investment funds can help capitalise PSU banks. The thrust on will boost growth and generate much-needed employment," he said in response to a question.

Observing that technology has been a key focus of the Narendra Modi government, Rishi said in the 2018 budget, the finance minister made a pitch for "technologies of the future" -- artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain technologies.

The finance minister's proposed Ministry of Corporate Affairs' MCA 21 portal, driven by data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning features as well as having additional modules such as for e-adjudication and compliance management, will bring efficiency and improve ease of doing business in India. "It is encouraging to see the Indian government using these technologies," Rishi said.

Increasing healthcare spending by 137 per cent is a remarkable step, he said, adding that this will give a massive boost to India's health sector.

The allocation of Rs 35,000 crore for the COVID-19 vaccines shows the Indian government's strong resolve to vaccinate its citizens, an absolute necessity to bring normalcy in the country. The focus on healthcare with the prime minister's Aatmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana to strengthen the country's primary, secondary and tertiary health with an outlay of Rs 64,180 crore over six years shows that healthcare capacity building is now a key priority for the government of India, Rishi said.

"We applaud Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's proposal to set up a national institution for One Health, a regional research platform for the World Health Organization South East Asia region, nine biosafety level (BSL) 3 laboratories and four regional national institutes of virology," he added.

Announcing the National Research Foundation in the 2019 budget was a "game changer". The additional outlay of Rs 50,000 crore over five years through the foundation will boost research and development in India. This shows the government's resolve to strengthen the research innovation ecosystem in India, Rishi said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Tue, February 02 2021. 07:01 IST