Union Budget 2021: 7 areas economists want Nirmala Sitharaman to focus on
With just days left before Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivers the Union Budget 2021-22 in Parliament, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry has come out with a list of expectations drawn up on the basis of a survey done among economists. Here's what the economists believe should be the thrust areas for the Finance Minister to drive growth and development of the country.
1) Increased public expenditure on building infrastructure
The economists suggested that the government restructure its expenditure in favour of capital spending (in roads, railways, urban and rural infrastructure, housing) along with providing a clear roadmap and financing plans of the National Infrastructure Pipeline announced in the latter part of 2019.
2) Enhance revenue collections
The economists suggested that the government utilizes the current buoyancy in market sentiments to their favour by pushing for disinvestments.
3) Ease and cost of doing business
The economists suggested that the government should ensure continued focus towards ease of doing business while simultaneously reducing the cost of doing business in India.
4) Relief package for the services industry
The economists called for a relief package for the services industry particularly those which were most impacted/continue to be deeply impacted by the pandemic including travel and tourism, hospitality, transport, education and healthcare sectors. They sought increased budget allocation for critical social sectors such as health and education given the current situation.
5) Focus on agriculture and allied activities
The economists said that agriculture and allied activities sector required continuous focus with the consolidation of reforms. They said spending on creation of agriculture infrastructure must be expedited which would result in the enhanced capacity of cold storage and warehousing facilities in the country. They also sought allocation of additional funds towards food processing schemes along with incentives for agri-exports.
6) Employment creation and consumption revival
The economists stressed upon the fact that employment creation and consumption revival remain the key areas for ensuring a sustainable turnaround in economic prospects. Therefore, they called upon the government to announce a temporary fiscal stimulus to support consumption in the form of income tax breaks or direct income transfers.
To ease the employment situation in both rural as well as urban areas, the economists expect greater budget allocations to MGNREGA along with the introduction of an urban employment guarantee scheme similar to its rural equivalent.
7) Recapitalization of public sector banks
The economists sought adequate recapitalization of public sector banks