Two days from now, the Union Budget will be presented in the Parliament. The 2020-2021 Budget is probably the most anticipated budget with the pandemic hitting us hard and the economy being strangled. Pandemic shut down all businesses with some sectors like hospitality, travel & tourism, etc. getting adversely affected.
An economic survey for the fiscal year 2021, indicates saving lives & livelihoods amidst the ongoing pandemic. A v-shaped recovery due to timely lockdown has emerged. The policy is focused on minimizing the losses in the worst case scenario when uncertainty is at its highest. Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) significantly enhanced the health insurance coverage even during the pandemic. The Economic Survey revealed a positive impact of PMJAY on health outcomes.
There is an increase in spending by more than 15% year on year and there is a chance to reinvigorate the economy which is projected to contract 7.7% in the current fiscal year as per a report in Business World . There has been a modest decline in GDP in the second half of 2020 but a faster economic recovery was anticipated. The roll out of vaccine is expected to boost the economy as per the health economists. The survey strongly recommends increase in public health spending from 1% to 2.5-3% of GDP.
Agriculture & allied activities showed a growth of 3.4% at constant prices during 2020-21. Key indicators such as PMI Services, air passenger traffic, rail freight traffic, etc. are showing a v-shaped recovery. One of the major achievements is that India added 12 Unicorns last year taking the total to 38. India entered the top 50 innovating countries since the inception of the Global Innovation Index in 2007.
With so many things lined up we can expect the budget to be just & fair. There are a lot of expectations and everyone just cannot wait for it to come out. All we can do right now is just wait & watch.