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Union Budget to go for growth with jobs

The world will be watching Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget announcements

Expect this year’s Union Budget — to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in less than a month — to be a growth oriented one with a focus on boosting infrastructure through the PM Gati Shakti programme besides key sectors such as manufacturing, micro small and medium sector and startups with an eye on employment generation. This year’s budget will also deal with the rising supply chain challenges from the ongoing geopolitical uncertainties driven by the Russia-Ukraine war.

A highly placed source told India Narrative that the government would look at addressing the issue of inverted duty structure to further strengthen the Make in India programme and draw foreign direct investment into India.

Inverted duty structure refers to higher taxes for inputs or raw materials compared to built-in products or finished products. Manufacturers in the country have been complaining of the inverted duty structure, which has increased overall costs.

“The issue of higher raw material costs has come up. The government is keen to resolve the issue as supply chain will be critical for the industry but a final decision is yet to be taken on the matter,” the source said, adding that there are a few groups which are also opposed to the proposal.

Prime Minister Modi has been stressing the need to amplify the Aatmanirbhar Bharat programme by providing a push to the Indian manufacturing sector.

Last year, Sitharaman’s Budget laid the ground and gave a blueprint to drive the economy over the “Amrit Kaal” of the next 25 years – from India at 75 to India at 100.

“The Amrit Kaal plank is also expected to be further enhanced especially aiming to uplift several segments including the all important rural sector,” the source noted.

At a time when the headwinds are increasingly posing challenges for the global economy, India’s Union Budget will be scrutinised with a fine tooth comb. This will also be an important year for India, which assumed the G-20 presidency last month. India will also mark this year as the International Year of Millets, in order to promote the consumption of these coarse cereals to boost global food and economic security.

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