Modi’s Pro-Growth Budget Keeps India’s Subsidies Untouched

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Unni KrishnanKartikay Mehrotra

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a pro-growth budget for the coming year, with a wider deficit projection, in an effort to boost Asia’s third-biggest economy while retaining subsidy payments for the nation’s poor.
The shortfall will narrow to 3.9 percent of gross domestic product in the year starting April 1, the smallest gap since 2008 but higher than a previous goal of 3.6 percent, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told lawmakers on Saturday. He also cut corporate taxes and increased infrastructure spending.
“People who urge us to undertake big bang reforms also say the Indian economy is a super giant that moves slowly but surely,” Jaitley said. “Even our worst critics would say we have moved rapidly.”

 Yet to come is the assessment of central bank Governor Raghuram Rajan, who said before the budget that he wants “high-quality fiscal consolidation” to further lower one of Asia’s highest interest rates. Jaitley said that slower inflation should trigger more monetary easing.
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