The 2015 budget “will further reignite our growth engine, signaling the dawn of a prosperous future,” wrote PM Modi on Twitter, referring to his government’s recently unveiled budget, widely viewed as business-friendly.
On February 28, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a host of new measures in the government’s first full budget, including increased spending in infrastructure, a universal social security scheme and an unprecedented corporate tax cut to 25 percent over the next four years. Jaitley said India was “about to take off” and it was time for a “quantum leap” on reforms.
The finance minister also said he expects the country’s GDP to grow between 8 and 8.5 percent year-on-year, adding that a double digit growth rate may be achievable soon. The announcement comes a month after India’s Statistics Office unveiled changes in the way it calculates the country’s GDP.
There were high expectations on the newly released budget as Modi’s ruling BJP party swept to power nine months ago on promises of reviving the country’s sluggish economy. Last year’s “mini budget” – unveiled by the ruling BJP in July – had been viewed by analysts as lacking on key issues.
Full report to follow in the Friday Print Edition