Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday laid out three themes for the 2020 budget – aspirational India, economic development, and a caring society – while focusing on enhancing the income of people living in rural parts of the country. Presenting her second budget, the minister said that government is proposing 16 measures to double the income of farmers by 2022. © REUTERS / ANUSHREE FADNAVISIndia’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman holds budget papers during a photo opportunity as she leaves her office to present the federal budget in the parliament in New Delhi, India, February 1, 2020. The measures come against the backdrop of dwindling consumer spending in rural areas, which is currently at a four-decade low. She announced around $40 billion in funds for the rural sector including agriculture and related activities for the 2020 fiscal year which is a mere 4.54 percent hike in allocation as compared to last year’s budget. “This is a budget to boost incomes and enhance purchasing power… The government is committed to doubling farmers’ income by 2022. Farm markets need to be liberalised, farming needs to be made more competitive, hand-holding of farm-based activities need to be provided, sustainable cropping patterns and more… Read full this story
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