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Union Budget 2018-19:Quote by Mr. N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons

Headline: Timely focus on rural India

 

Rating 8/10

 

The key highlight of this budget is that it reflects a timely and appropriate focus on rural India. While overall economic growth is recovering and running at a 7% pace, on the ground we see that the most rapidly growing data is related to urban activity.

 

As we enter a stage in the cycle where rural demand is slowing, the focus on rural support — Rs. 14.3 lakh crore earmarked for rural infrastructure, and targets to double farmers’ incomes, generate non-farm rural jobs, and improve rural sanitation — will help sustain India’s long-term growth trajectory. Similarly, the provisions to enhance farm price support, expand food processing, and liberalise agricultural exports are encouraging; the next leg of reforms in agriculture will have to focus on reducing production risk and addressing yield and storage deficiencies to raise competitiveness.

 

On a different note, I am delighted to see the share of the budget dedicated to healthcare increasing, with the introduction of the National Health Protection Scheme—which will be the world’s largest public health insurance initiative — and the allocation of Rs. 1200 crore to the Ayushmaan Bharat programme.

 

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