India's budget focuses on roads, but critics see the need for more jobs.

The government’s ambitious vaccination program has helped restore some momentum, but Mr Modi’s reluctance to spend big has dampened growt...


The government’s ambitious vaccination program has helped restore some momentum, but Mr Modi’s reluctance to spend big has dampened growth, economists say.

The new budget foresees a 35% increase in spending, mainly for infrastructure projects. The government stressed that the emphasis on construction would help develop the economy.

“The approach is based on seven drivers, namely roads, railways, airports, ports, public transport, waterways and logistics infrastructure. The seven engines will drive the economy forward in unison,” said Nirmala Sitharaman, Modi’s finance minister, when presenting the budget to parliament.

But the proposal is less generous on rural employment programs and failed to deliver what economists have long been calling for: an urban jobs plan to help day laborers in the country’s big cities.

Economists are particularly concerned about the slow pace of job creation, as millions of people are still out of work or have given up looking altogether.

Before the pandemic hit, India was lifting millions of people out of poverty. It took decades for the country to have an economy large enough to employ more than 400 million people, said Mahesh Vyas, chief executive of the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy. Today, the country has 187 million more people who need jobs, he said, a tall order in the current circumstances.

The deep scarring of the economy is particularly visible in employment and employment statistics. The center estimated that only about 38 percent of the country’s working-age population was actually employed in 2020. By June 2021, the number had fallen to 34.6%It said.

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Newsrust - US Top News: India's budget focuses on roads, but critics see the need for more jobs.
India's budget focuses on roads, but critics see the need for more jobs.
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