India aims to become US$10 trillion economy, ups defence budget

By Shakir Husain

NEW DELHI, Feb 1 (NNN-BERNAMA) — India aims to become a US$10 trillion (US$1 = RM4.09) economy in the next eight years, growing the size of its gross domestic product (GDP) four times.

“India is poised to become a US$5 trillion economy in the next five years, we aspire to become a US$10 trillion economy in the next eight years,” Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said while presenting the 2019-20 national budget on Friday.


The Union Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Piyush Goyal departs from North Block to Rashtrapati Bhavan and Parliament House, along with the Minister of State for Finance and Shipping, Shri P. Radhakrishnan, the Minister of State for Finance, Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla and the senior officials to present the Interim Budget 2019-20, in New Delhi on February 01, 2019.

Goyal said the government will boost the manufacturing sector, promote rural industrialisation, help startups, and support new technologies to generate massive employment to achieve its US$10 trillion economic goal.

“We will create an India where poverty, malnutrition, littering and illiteracy would be a matter of the past. India would be a modern, technology-driven, high-growth, equitable and transparent society,” he said.

The government has made several budget proposals aimed at wooing middle-class voters and farmers as India is due to hold parliamentary elections before May.

It raised the personal income tax exemption limit to INR500,000 (100 rupees=RM5.73) from INR250,000  at present.

India will spend more than US$42 billion on defence in the next financial year (April-March) compared with US$39.5 billion in the current year.

“Our defence budget will be crossing INR300,000 crore (US$42 billion) for the first time in 2019-20. For securing our borders and to maintain preparedness of the highest order, if necessary, additional funds would be provided,” Goyal said.

An amount of US$10.5 billion per year has been allocated to support farmers, who have been demanding government financial support.

Total expenditure will increase from US$344.7 billion in the 2018-19 budget to US$390.5 billion in 2019-20. The fiscal deficit for 2019-20 is estimated to be at 3.4 per cent of GDP.

— NNN-BERNAMA