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Budget 2018 – Building a Resilient Bharat

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I must compliment Prime Minister Modi and Finance Minister Jaitley for intense focus on fiscal prudence in this budget. There is a huge focus in this ‘New Bharat’ Budget on inclusive growth and farm sector and despite that fiscal deficit targets have not been compromised.

Another pathbreaking focus in this budget is on Healthcare with the announcement of a Flagship National Health Protection Scheme, providing annual health insurance cover of Rs5 lakh per family supporting more than 10 crore vulnerable families.

In addition this ‘pro-poor budget’ addresses rural distress by focussing on rural infrastructure, enhancing farmers’ income and supports the efforts to create a resilient Bharat- the ‘New India’. The budget has rightfully given importance to ‘ease of living’ along side ‘ease of doing business’. It will definitely lift millions of people out of poverty in the country.

Measures to create robust agriculture sector and initiative to develop system of optimal farm price realization is a long pending pathbreaking agricultural reform and will go a long way in doubling farmer income by 2020. The big push to rural infrastructure development with laudable measures such as hiking minimum support price (MSP) to one and a half times of the cost of produce, allocating substantial funds to the Agri and Rural sphere, will contribute to much needed strengthening the rural economy which would have a domino effect in pushing the growth of India economy overall. All these efforts along with focus on boosting rural connectivity will definitely improve rural livelihood and boost rural consumption.

Doubling of allocation of funds for food-processing sector will not only create far greater wealth for all the stakeholders across the agricultural value chain but it will also lead to creation of employment opportunities and strengthening of the infrastructure for India to become a global sourcing hub especially in food products.

Provision of Corporate tax relief for MSME will benefit the entire ecosystem of small businesses, who are the engine of growth and employment generators. At Walmart India our business is completely focused on enabling small businesses to succeed and we’re delighted to see that this move by the government will help these small businesses to prosper.

We are confident that this budget will spur the domestic consumption and will accelerate economic growth across all sectors.

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