This was a historic Budget, when the date was one month earlier than the usual, and the Railway Budget for the first time was integrated with the Union Budget. Overall the Budget was appropriate and growth-oriented. There was tremendous emphasis on rural and agricultural growth. Several valuable initiatives were announced. We will get a better idea when the details are elaborated.
One of the very good developments on agriculture was that a new legislation on contract farming will be introduced. Once contract farming is strongly encouraged, it will add tremendously to agricultural productivity. Another major development in this regard was the announcement that, by 2018, all of India’s villages will be electrified. We believe these developments in the rural sector will strongly benefit our businesses, particularly Godrej Consumer Products and Godrej Agrovet.
This year’s Budget also placed a strong emphasis on real estate development, especially affordable housing. Infrastructure status for affordable housing is particularly welcome. Real estate is the largest single business in India and encouraging this sector will add strongly to the country’s GDP growth. Again, we expect Godrej Properties will benefit considerably.
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Emphasis on development of women and children in the Budget is notable. Another major development is the emphasis on youth, both from an education as well as skilling point of view. Noteworthy changes in political funding were also announced in the Budget speech by the finance minister. These should help in reducing the usage of black money in India’s politics and will have a very good long-term effect. It will also provide a boost to our democratic institutions.