The government strategy for the development of the nation will be given more importance to the rural economy stability and focus on infrastructure, agriculture and health and education development in rural India.
This will be the main part of 2016-17 budget.According to the preliminary blueprint that has emerged during Budget discussions, the government plans to focus on these crucial areas to fire up growth and tackle the growing unease in the farm economy.
"There will be more attention on irrigation and agriculture. We are working out the numbers. We will have to address the problems in the rural economy which has borne the brunt of two consecutive droughts," said a senior official who did not wish to be identified. "This is a very crucial Budget for the government," he said, highlighting the need to take effective measures to revive vital sectors and overall growth.
The official also said that the infrastructure sector will see greater attention as the government is keen to step up investment despite a challenging fiscal situation. The government has already allocated Rs 5,300 crore to support micro-irrigation, watershed development and the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana and has urged states to chip in substantially in this vital sector. Sources say this effort will be stepped up in the current Budget.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley has already signalled the government’s support by backing calls for raising investment in the crucial farm sector and leveraging technology to fire up growth.
The next focus area would be infrastructure, where investment in 2015-16 was estimated to have gone up by Rs 70,000 crore, including funds from the Centre and state-run undertakings. Highways and roads have proved to be a success area and in the absence of private investment, indications are that the sector will receive special attention, including unveiling of some innovative financing schemes.
The health of the banking sector has been a sources of worry. The government has taken several measures, including pumping in Rs 70,000 crore to recapitalise state-run banks. Sources said there is a view within the government that more needs to be done to secure the health of the crucial sector.