Budget gets 8/10 marks, rural focus timely: Chandrasekaran

Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran today welcomed the government’s timely and appropriate focus on rural India in the Budget for 2018-19, while giving it eight points out of ten.

At a stage where rural demand is slowing, earmarking of Rs 14.3 lakh crore for rural infrastructure and targeting to double farmers’ incomes, generating non-farm rural jobs, and improving rural sanitation will help sustain India’s long-term growth trajectory, he said.

“The key highlight of this budget is that it reflects a timely and appropriate focus on rural India,” Chandrasekaran said in a statement.

He further said, “While overall economic growth is recovering and running at a 7 per cent pace, on the ground we see that the most rapidly growing data is related to urban activity”.

The provisions to enhance farm price support, expand food processing, and liberalise agricultural exports are encouraging, he added.

The chief of the over USD 100 billion salt-to-software conglomerate, however, said: “The next leg of reforms in agriculture will have to focus on reducing production risk and addressing yield and storage deficiencies to raise competitiveness”.

He also lauded the government increasing share of budget dedicated to healthcare with the introduction of the National Health Protection Scheme -— which will be the world’s largest public health insurance initiative -— and the allocation of Rs 1,200 crore to the Ayushmaan Bharat programme. PTI