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.
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.