Events of ADRI (Patna - Ranchi)
COMMENTS ON UNION BUDGET (2018-19)
Dr. Shaibal Gupta
Member-Secretary, Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), Patna
1. The Budget has once again meted the two-fold demands of Indian economy : (1) need for a fast-paced economy; and (2) Inclusivity of the growth process.
2. FM has successfully shot the challenges for agricultural economy by providing for: ensuring a Minimum Support Price (MSP) which is at least 150 percent of cost of production, expansion of agricultural credit, and promotion of agricultural productivity for specific crops in identified regions (similar to the programme of cluster-based approach in the industrial sector). Further, FM has announced to set up an Agri-Market Development Fund of Rs. 2000 crore for developing agricultural markets. Bihar will be particularly benefitted by these policies.
3. World’s largest health care scheme that will cover 10 crore poor families has been announced by the FM. Rs. 5 lakh per year will be provided to each beneficiary family for medical expenses.
4. In higher education, FM has provisioned for a huge allocation of Rs. 1.00 lakh crore, which will be spent over the next 4 years. This again is a major component of the budget.
Finally, in spite of a higher outlay for agriculture, health, education and physical infrastructure, the FM has kept the fiscal deficit at 3.3 percent of GDP in 2018-19, compared to 3.5 percent in last fiscal.