A Budget For ‘Aatmnirbhar Arthvyavastha’

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The Budget 2022 represents an aspiring India which believes in bold initiatives and is ready to scale newer heights even in the face of the multiple challenges posed by the prolonged period of the COVID-19 pandemic. It should be held as a budget which not only consolidates the policy initiatives taken during the pandemic years to fulfil the aspirations of an ‘Aatmnirbhar Bharat’ but it also lays a strong foundation on which self-reliance will be built in the years to come. While reflecting the futuristic vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, it promises to give impetus to development, create employment while empowering the poor, farmers, labourers, women and youth. It can be rightly described as a budget which heralds an era of ‘Aatmnirbhar Arthavyavastha’ with a renewed sense of faith in self and confidence in the future.

As the Economic Survey for the year 2021-22 projects a GDP growth rate of 9.2% in real terms, India emerges as the fastest growing nation among the major economies of the world. It is a huge achievement for India, which has not only faced the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic but converted them into opportunities, resulting in such a huge recovery. It was possible due to timely reforms, a futuristic vision, an inclusive approach, and strong political will amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Budget 2022 may be viewed as a continuation of those policies, as it also emphasises digital economy and Fintech, technology-based development, energy transition, and climate change-related actions.The commitment to generating new avenues of employment can be seen in the promotion of PLI in 14 sectors, incentivising them to yield Rs. 30 lac crore of extra production while creating 60 lac new jobs.

The budget for 2022 has been increased to Rs. 39.45 lac crore while aiming to reduce the fiscal deficit from 6.9% to 6.4%, which seems commendable when the entire world is facing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, the colossal 35.4% hike in capex to a whopping 7.5 lac crore is expected to spur massive private investments too in the economy. The focus on seven engines of PM Gatishakti plan viz. roads, railways, airports, ports, mass transport, waterways and logistics infrastructure is set to immensely transform the entire economy with extraordinary impetus.Apart from these, the huge allocations for MSP, emphasis on natural farming, funds for start-ups in agriculture & rural enterprises, Kisan drones for crop assessment, digitization of land records and for spraying insecticides and nutrients is set to revolutionize the agriculture sector.The initiatives taken towards launching river linking projects, particularly Ken-Betwa project will bring huge relief to Bundelkhand region. The special initiatives in the area of MSME, education and health along with programmes for ‘Saksham Anganwadi’, ‘Har Ghar, Nal se Jal’, Housing for All, vibrant village programme makes the Budget comprehensive and inclusive in its approach and commitments.

The Budget 2022 is aimed at fulfilling the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, who, from the ramparts of the Red Fort, has given a call for building a self reliant India in the coming 25 year period, which he called “Amrit Kaal”. The “Amrit Kaal”, which will lead India to 100 years of independence, is to be utilised effectively to build a glorious India based on the pledge of building an ‘Aatmnirbhar Bharat’. The Budget 2022 has rolled out programmes and projects in accordance with the vision of the Prime Minister that will not only build massive infrastructure but also meet the goals of self-reliance in various sectors, including the defence sector, where new industries, start-ups and R&D are being promoted and 68% of defence procurement is earmarked from the domestic sector. In almost every sector, the emphasis is on promoting ‘Aatmnirbahrta’. The Finance Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, should be congratulated for laying a strong foundation of “Amrit Kaal’ by heralding an era of ‘Aatmnirbhar Arthvyavastha” through her Budget 2022.