New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's focus on agriculture, rural employment and infrastructure in his Budget for 2017-18 shows Narendra Modi government's ability to balance growth with prudence, billionaire Gautam Adani said today.
The Budget provides for "growth for the rural and underprivileged build-up of infrastructure in urban India, affordable housing, fiscal prudence and most importantly, more money in the hands of honest taxpayers.
A refreshing approach towards growth through prudent budget measures," he said. The Adani Group Chairman said he sees this year's Budget in the backdrop of fragile global economic condition and continuing uncertainty.
"Amidst this backdrop, India is considered to be a bright spot by international agencies including IMF and UNCTAD," he said in a statement. The government, he said, has clearly shown its resolve in continuing to provide resources to rural India.
These resources are on three fronts -- agriculture, by way of enhancing the crop insurance allocation and model contract farming law apart from targeting higher credit availability for the sector.
Secondly, on rural employment front by enhancement of over 26 per cent allocation to employement guarantee scheme MNREGA and thirdly, on rural infrastructure front by giving a massive push to Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna, Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna, rural electrification allocation as well as dairy processing infrastructure fund, he said.
"These measures will enhance the public spend on the rural front and help the Government fulfill its target of enhancing quality of life for the underprivileged in rural India; in combination with increased allocation on Swachh Bharat, Skill enhancement, etc," he said.
The other notable initiatives include integrated rail, road, airport and waterways infrastructure with a total spend of Rs 2.41 lakh crore and keeping in focus redevelopment of railway stations, airport upgradation in tier-2 cities with PPP model, 2,000 kms of coastal road linking major cities and ports, and development of multi modal logistics parks.
Also, affordable housing is a focus in the Budget as it assigns infrastructure status to it, he said. "All these initiatives are taken with adherence to fiscal discipline which shows the government's ability to balance growth with prudence," Adani added.