Budget 2018: Prudence meets pragmatism, says SBI's Soumya Kanti Ghosh

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The Budget for next financial year strives to maintain the momentum and continuity from last year with a strong focus on agriculture, social sectors and MSMEs. 

The reforms related to agriculture in terms of bolstering farm income are praiseworthy. A quick roll-out of the scheme along the lines of what is prevalent in states like Madhya Pradesh will save substantial cost. 

Additionally, around 70 per cent of the farm land is being cultivated by tenant farmers who have no access to bank loans. Hence, the move to allow them access to bank credit will significantly reduce rural indebtedness. Operation Green, plans to involve meritorious students in teaching in educational institutions, health insurance of Rs 0.5 million for 100 million poor families and concessions for senior citizens are welcome. 

Soumya Kanti, Ghosh Group Chief Economic Advisor, State Bank of India
A number of measures announced to facilitate the MSME sector apart from bolstering employment in the formal sector will add to job creation. The budgeted net market borrowings at Rs 4.62 trillion —in FY18 it was Rs 4.59 trillion — will clearly provide a suitable message to debt market. The spike in yields could be temporary.

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