New Delhi, Feb 1 (EFE).- India reaffirmed its commitment to robust infrastructure development for the upcoming financial year, earmarking 11.11 trillion Indian rupees (nearly $134 billion) for long-term projects on Wednesday.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the allocation, marking a more than 10 percent increase from the previous year, in her interim budget before the general elections due by May.
“The outlay for infrastructure has increased to 11.11 trillion rupees in fiscal year 2025,” Sitharaman told the parliament. “This would be 3.4 percent of the GDP.”
The government’s primary focus is enhancing railway, road, and logistics infrastructure in the country of 1.4 billion people.
Sitharaman identified three new economic railway corridors designed to stimulate economic hubs and promote the development of tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
She said the government intended to construct 20 million affordable houses for growing middle-class families in the next five years.
Sitharaman presented the interim budget as part of a roadmap for the next five years, during which India aspires to sustain robust growth and become the third-largest economy globally, following the United States and the United Kingdom.
“The next five years will be years of unprecedented development and golden moments to realize the dream of a developed India @ 2047,” the finance minister said. “Our government will adopt economic policies that will sustain growth, contribute to powering investment, and fulfill aspirations.”
Despite the interim nature of the proposal, lacking specific details expected by the market and citizens, Sitharaman assured important commitments on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government aimed at fostering growth.
Given the election year, analysts view the provisional budget as Modi’s economic electoral manifesto, as he seeks a third consecutive five-year term.The government retained its tax policies, contrary to some analysts’ predictions of potential relaxation on the personal income tax slab, similar to pre-election measures in 2019.
Sitharaman emphasized the government’s commitment to a “transparent, accountable, people-centric, and prompt trust-based administration” with a ‘citizen-first’ and ‘minimum government, maximum governance’ approach.
“The impact of all-round development is discernible in all sectors. There is macro-economic stability, including in the external sector. Investments are robust. The economy is doing well,” she said. EFE