Stimulus package rolled out in hurry with eye on Gujarat polls

The high-stake Gujarat polls appears to have pushed the Centre into hastily unveiling a slew of measures to pump-prime the economy and take the sting out of the negative impact of demonetisation and t

Published: 25th October 2017 07:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th October 2017 07:42 AM   |  A+A-

Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian talks to FM Arun Jaitley | shekhar Yadav

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The high-stake Gujarat polls appears to have pushed the Centre into hastily unveiling a slew of measures to pump-prime the economy and take the sting out of the negative impact of demonetisation and the rollout of the goods and services tax.   

By committing to build 83,677 km of roads in five years at an investment of `6.92 lakh crore, the Modi government has sought to infuse hope among the electorate and put the economy on a high-growth trajectory. By enhancing the minimum support prices for Rabi crops, including wheat and pulses, it has sought to lessen farmers’ distress.

“The scale of the road projects, which seeks to link smaller towns and districts to the network of quality roads through the Bharatmala project, is a replication of what Atal Bihari Vajpayee did with the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna. The push from below (improved condition of the people) and pressure from above (government action) will unleash the economic potential in connected areas,” BJP Vice-President Vinay Sahashrabuddhe told Express.

The Bharatmala project consists of 44 economic corridors which will link manufacturing zones in the country, including many in Gujarat.  

The move to link the Mudra scheme with specific MSME sectors is expected to help generate jobs. “This will ensure that financial assistance flows into less trodden sectors. Now, there could be dedicated loans for honey-beekeeping, bamboo cultivation, dairy products and so on. This will help people become employers in the true sense,” added Sahashrabuddhe. 

Big relief for SMEs

Buried in the announcements was a nugget that may prove a huge relief to SMEs that deal with public-sector firms. The announcement that all Central Public Sector Enterprises will have to register on the TReDS platform within 90 days is set to ease MSME financing



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