Besides the specific focus on education, MSMEs and overall the fiscal prudence, the emphasis on Artificial Intelligence augurs well for the tech ecosystem as technology can help create solutions that can be deployed across health, agri and other sectors, feels Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Group.
The Union Budget FY24 resonates with India’s inherent strengths and strategises ways to catalyse them to achieve growth. The 7 key pivots of the Budget will foster last mile inclusion of infrastructural development and unleash India’s growth potential in the years to come.
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The focus on capital expenditure, consumption with an eye on fiscal consolidation is noteworthy as it keeps India’s long term growth story and the potential global economic headwinds in mind.
The focus on skilling India’s youth is crucial for effectively reaping India’s demographic dividend. Measures such as establishing modern skilling centres for the youth and direct benefit transfers will help make them job-ready.
The emphasis on Artificial Intelligence (AI) augurs well for the tech ecosystem as technology can help create solutions that can be deployed across health, agri and other sectors.
Measures to promote research and innovation in pharmaceuticals through centres of excellence should enable the sector to reinforce India’s position as pharma capital of the world.
MSMEs, considered as the backbone of India, underwent significant stress over the last three years on account of lockdowns and supply chain disruptions.
Relief measures like refunding up to 95% of forfeited bid/security amounts, if it was not able to meet contractual obligations due to Covid19 is highly appreciated. Additionally, the revamped credit guarantee scheme, which is aimed at generating additional MSME credit of INR 2 crore in FY24, will meet rising credit demand of the sector as the economy turns around.
Initiation of the Aspirational Blocks programme, which will focus on 500 blocks, will enable access of essential government services. The Aspirational Districts programme has been progressively improving the socio economic conditions of underserved communities in India. The new block level programme should improve the governance mechanism at the last mile further.
The budget has strongly focused on education to make up for the learning losses incurred during COVID-19. Announcements of setting up a new national digital library for children and recruitment of teachers and support staff are welcome steps towards strengthening the sector.
The fiscal prudence of the government is visible in its commitment towards reducing India’s fiscal deficit to 4.5% of GDP by FY26, without sacrificing any growth targets.
—The author, Ajay Piramal, is Chairman, Piramal Group. The views expressed are personal.
(Edited by : C H Unnikrishnan)
First Published: Feb 2, 2023 5:17 PM IST
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