• Wednesday, March 22, 2023


India Feb 1 budget news in brief: Urban unemployment rate falls to 4-year low

A youth fills an application form to access job openings in the private sector outside an “employment van” in Hyderabad, India, on August 25, 2021. (Photo by NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

Here are news related to Indian budget 2023 which was presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the parliament on Wednesday, February 1:

Urban unemployment rate in India has fallen to a four-year low, a budget document for 2023-24 showed on Wednesday, ANI reported. In June 2019, the urban unemployment rate was at 8.9 per cent, which peaked at 20.9 per cent during the Covid-19 period, and has fallen since then to 7.2 per cent in September 2022, data revealed. “Investments in Infrastructure and productive capacity have a large multiplier impact on growth and employment,” Sitharaman said in her budget speech. “After the subdued period of the pandemic, private investments are growing again. The Budget takes the lead once again to ramp up the virtuous cycle of investment and job creation.”

The per capita income in India has more than doubled to Rs 1.97 lakh (£1,953.5) over the past nine years, ANI reported. “The government’s efforts since 2014 have ensured for all citizens a better quality of living and a life of dignity,” Sitharaman said in her budget speech on Wednesday. In these nine years, the size of the Indian economy has increased from being tenth to the fifth largest in the world. “We have significantly improved our position as a well-governed and innovative country with a conducive environment for business as reflected in several global indices,” she said.

Ashok Mitra, former finance minister of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal and well known economist on Wednesday expressed disappointment that the budget did not address the issues of tackling unemployment and rising inflation, the two main problems facing the “common man”, PTI reported. Mitra, who is currently the principal chief adviser to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, told PTI in an interview that the budget, despite its promise to allow states to borrow more for infrastructure expenditure, was giving a go-by to the concept of federalism by not transferring promised resources to the states.

The pharmaceutical industry on Wednesday hailed the Narendra Modi government’s budget, terming it a step in the right direction to promote research and innovation in the sector, PTI reported. Sun Pharma managing director Dilip Shanghvi said the pharmaceutical industry’s request to incentivise and encourage R&D investments has been granted. “The new Centres of Excellence programme, aimed to promote R&D in pharma, will encourage investment opportunities that will fuel innovation in the sector. It will not only begin to unleash the high potential of India’s rich scientific talent, this will further encourage the industry to invest in R&D,” the industry leader said.

In a major boost to the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), the Modi government on Wednesday announced a 150-per cent hike in the outlay of its flagship scheme with an allocation of Rs 5,000 crore (£495.8 million) in budget 2023-24, PTI reported. However, there has been a nine-per cent decrease, with an allocation of Rs 2,132 crore (£211.4 million), for the construction of non-residential office buildings, including the Central Vista project, Parliament and Supreme Court, as compared to the revised estimates of Rs 2,344.08 crore (£232.4 million) in the last fiscal. On October 1, 2021, Modi had launched the second phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), which envisions making all cities in the country “garbage-free”.

Sitharaman on Wednesday allocated nearly Rs 12,544 crore (£1.24 billion) to the department of space as India plans a human spaceflight -– Gaganyaan -– next year and sets out to explore the moon and neighbouring planets, PTI reported. The allocation is about 8 per cent lower than the Budget Estimate of Rs 13,700 crore (£1.35 billion) for 2022-23, which was slashed to Rs 10,530.04 crore (1.04 billion) in the Revised Estimate. The largest chunk of the allocation — to the tune of Rs 11,669.41 crore (£1.15 billion) — has gone to central sector schemes or projects such as the human spaceflight centre and various institutions of the department that deal with launch vehicle and satellite projects, including developmental and operational initiatives.

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