Wednesday, November 21, 2018
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In Focus

Posted at: Feb 5, 2018, 1:06 AM; last updated: Feb 5, 2018, 1:29 AM (IST)

Making small beautiful

Making small beautiful
Istock

Krish Iyer

President & CEO, Walmart India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley must be complimented for presenting a pathbreaking Budget this year that has focused on providing universal healthcare facilities to the poor. The announcement of a flagship National Health Protection Scheme, which is meant to provide annual health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh per family to more than 10 crore households, will benefit over 50 crore Indians. 

In addition to this, the 'pro-poor budget' addresses rural distress by focusing on rural infrastructure, enhancing farmers' income and supporting the efforts to create a resilient Bharat - the 'New India'. The Budget has rightfully accorded importance to the 'ease of living' alongside the 'ease of doing business'. It will definitely boost the economy and lift millions of people out of the poverty. 

Measures to create a robust agriculture sector and the initiative to develop system of optimal farm price realisation are a long pending, path breaking agricultural reforms, which will go a long way in doubling farmers' income by 2022. The big push to rural infrastructure development with laudable measures such as hiking minimum support prices (MSPs) to one-and-a-half times of the cost of produce, allocating substantial funds to the agricultural and rural spheres, will contribute to much needed strengthening of the rural economy, which would have a domino effect in pushing the overall growth of the India economy. All these efforts along with the focus on boosting rural connectivity will definitely improve rural livelihood and boost rural consumption. 

Doubling of allocation of funds for food-processing sector will not only create far greater wealth for all the stakeholders across the agricultural value chain but it will also lead to the creation of employment opportunities and strengthening of the infrastructure for India to become a global sourcing hub, especially in food products. 

The Prime Minister and the Finance Ministers have been able to provide growth stimulus with an intense focus on the fiscal prudence in this Budget. There is a huge focus in this 'New Bharat' Budget on the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), besides inclusive growth and farm sector. 

The provision of corporate tax relief for MSMEs in the Budget will benefit the entire ecosystem of small businesses - the engine of growth and employment generators. At Walmart India, our business is completely focused on enabling small businesses to succeed and we are delighted to see that this move by the government will help these small businesses to prosper. 

We are confident that this budget will spur the domestic consumption and will accelerate economic growth across all sectors.

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