Even six years after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister in 2014, the job opportunities and the economy have not caught up. This is when 'good days' were promised.
In fact, there were a lot of expectations from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting her budget for the second time. She was expected to present a credible roadmap and strategy that would boost the economy. Also promises and expectations will be fulfilled.
The general budget of 2020-21 came at a time when the economy is very sluggish, tax collection has come down and disinvestment process is being adopted. Due to all these reasons, the finance minister's ability to spend was extremely low, if it were not there, it could have accelerated the economy a bit.
The budget he presented was suppressed by the burden of expectations and constraints. There was neither a roadmap nor any strategy for the benefit of the economy.
It was filled with unnecessary details of motives and proposals. The gap between the government's earnings and expenditure, known as fiscal deficit, has increased from 3.3% to 3.8% of the total GDP in the recent financial year.
Despite such an increase in the fiscal deficit, the allocation of expenditure in schemes is very little to revive growth.
Reduction in MNREGA budget
The amount allocated for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme ie MGNREGA for 2020-21 is less than Rs 9,500 crore as compared to 2019-20. The amount allocated for PM Kisan Yojana has increased by 20,000 crores.
The highest amount of money given in these two flagship schemes will reach the rural people, who have more tendency to spend. This will increase spending and consumption and increase growth.
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In the medium term, the economy can be increased by enabling more people to earn income through sustainable livelihood, which fulfills Prime Minister Modi's promise of 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas'.
Even in years of high growth, the economy does not create many jobs. A single budget cannot solve a deep structural problem. This crisis is also with this year's budget.
It has been seen in the previous budgets of this government that it does not understand the depth and seriousness of this problem nor does it try to solve the problems in a meaningful way.
3,000 crores in skill development
There are proposals in this budget that will result in jobs, but they will not be in such a number that can provide jobs to all the youth who join the labor force every year.
A provision of Rs 3,000 crore has been made for the skill development of the youth so that they will be able to get jobs as teachers, nurses, para medical staff and carers abroad.
The Ministry of Health and Skill Development will work with professional bodies to design a special bridge course which will hone the skills of the youth according to the standards of the job seekers. The language needs of different countries will also be added to this.
There is a shortage of specialist doctors along with general practitioners in the country. To meet this requirement, there is a plan to encourage the construction of large hospitals which will have adequate capacity of resident doctors under the National Board of Examinations. Diplomas and fellowships will also be given under this National Board of Examinations.
There is a proposal for an attached medical college in Tier-2 and 3 cities, under which opportunities for jobs of nurses and other staff will be created. This Attaché Medical College will be set up in the district hospitals only under public private partnership.
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Emphasis on manufacturing electronic goods
Apart from this, to increase the employment potential of the youth, apprenticeship course will be started in 150 higher educational institutions by March 2021. Also, internship opportunities will be given in urban local bodies in the country so that engineers are ready in a year
In the budget, emphasis has also been laid on incentives for the manufacture of mobile phones and other electronic goods, which can create factory jobs. But what will happen in it will be told later.
The government could have announced more policies for electronic goods and its investment. Which one opportunity was probably missed.
One good news of this budget is the amount of insurance on the money kept in banks. Earlier, there was a promise to give only one lakh rupees to depositors after the closure of the bank due to fraud or losses, which has now been increased to five lakh rupees.
The decision to bring Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) to the stock exchange through an IPO is always welcomed. This will result in better governance and transparency. Also, the government will also help in raising money through this disinvestment.
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