By Una Galani
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.
Jim O’Neill, who coined the term BRICs to highlight emerging economic powerhouses Brazil, Russia, India and China, said India’s budget lacked a “wow” factor but was good enough to push the country on a path of 8 percent growth or more “for a long time”.
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s budget announcements were on expected lines and should satisfy the investment community, which was keen to see reforms that will kickstart India’s economy. Although the budget was slightly skewed towards the rural economy, we also saw important announcements for urban India aimed at stimulating growth and investment.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has the tough task of balancing the need to boost spending and maintaining fiscal discipline when he presents the annual budget on Feb. 28. Former Infosys CFO V. Balakrishnan says the government’s main priority should be to revive the economy by loosening up its purse strings and the country could live with a “slightly higher fiscal deficit.”
The upcoming budget is expected to give a boost to the government’s “Make in India” campaign, the centrepiece of PM Narendra Modi’s plan to create jobs and rejuvenate the economy. But Rajeev Karwal, founder of technology and consulting firm Milagrow, says the “ecosystem” to transform India into a manufacturing hub does not exist because of an absence of government support and incentives.
The countdown has begun for the biggest business and economic event of the year - the release of India’s annual budget on February 28. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is under pressure to unveil reforms that will put the country’s economy on a path of 7-8 percent growth over the next two years.