In the back-drop of the once-in-a-century crisis, a pandemic of global scale, the budget presented by Nirmala Sitharaman was lauded as being the best budget in 100 years by many. She did act according to the need of the hour by not worrying too much about the fiscal deficit that was at 9.5% of the GDP. It was a clear enough indicator of the government’s stand to keep aside fiscal discipline to enable it to infuse life into the slow-moving economy by spending more. With a focus on providing access to affordable healthcare to the population, the finance minister announced in the budget, the center-sponsored scheme having an outlay of Rs 64,180 with a view of boosting healthcare infrastructure across the country. This is expected to benefit the country in the long term as it would create a healthier population that can contribute more to the economy.
One of the major budget allocations of Rs 93,224 crores was made to the Ministry of Education. This was intended to bring the New Education Policy of 2020 to action. It, therefore, focuses more on building human capital. Along with providing quality education, the main aim is to develop skillsets via various schemes involving partnerships with nations like the UAE and Japan for skill development. To reduce the burden on the exchequer, the highest ever targeted divestment of 1.75 Lakh was proposed. A cess on Agriculture Infrastructure and Development was also announced while the common man was shielded from any anticipated covid-cess
When the economy recovers, the fiscal deficit is to be scaled back to the previously announced level of 3%. The government should also be concerned about the rise in interest rates because of the high amount of borrowings to fund the budgeted plans.