NEW DELHI: BJP's poll promises of lower tax rates and interest-free agricultural loans are likely to be in focus as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is set to form the next government. As the NDA prepares for a second term with a thumping majority, there are also challenges of boosting economic growth and creating jobs on a mass scale.
The Bharatiya Janata Party's 'Sankalp Patra' (document of resolve) or election manifesto, released on April 8, laid out the party's development agenda, including steps to make India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025. India's economic growth touched a five-year low of 7 per cent in 2018-19 but inflation has largely remained under control.
Apart from lower tax rates and interest-free agricultural loans, the party has promised to build 60,000 kilometres of national highways, connecting all villages with rural roads, operationalizing 100 new airports and modernising 400 railway stations, among others.
If re-elected, the party had said its government led by Narendra Modi would make agricultural loans up to Rs 1 lakh interest-free as well as invest Rs 25 lakh crore in the agriculture sector. Releasing the manifesto, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the BJP would work towards making India a developed nation by 2047, 100 years after Independence. The BJP had also said its economic policy has been guided by the principle of lowering the tax rate and improving compliance, thereby broadening of the tax base.
According to the manifesto, the party is committed to further revise the tax slabs and tax benefits to ensure more cash and greater purchasing power in the hands of our middle-income families. In the interim Budget presented in February, the NDA government made income up to Rs 5 lakh tax-free.
The manifesto had also said that while social security net for the poor and farmers would be expanded, the party's government would take up capital investment in the country to a new height. "By 2024, we will make a capital investment of Rs 100 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector. We recognise that investment-driven growth requires a cheaper cost of capital. By anchoring inflation at 4 per cent and cleaning up our banking system we have created the space for a structural reduction in the cost of capital. This will not only help infrastructure investment but investment also in the wider economy," the BJP had said.
The manifesto had also said the country has become the world's sixth largest economy and would soon be among the top five. "We aspire to make India the third largest economy of the world by 2030. This implies that we commit to make India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025 and USD 10 trillion economy by 2032," the 48-page document had said.
Efforts would also be made to raise India's ranking among top 50 nations in 'ease of doing business index', strengthen Companies Act, and introduce the new industrial policy. The NDA is on course to have a thumping majority in the Lok Sabha elections, with BJP alone expected to win more than 300 seats.