Budget 2019: ‘Will consider opening up FDI in aviation, media’: Nirmala Sitharaman

Updated on May 28, 2020 07:57 PM IST

The finance minister said India’s economy, which stood at 1.85 trillion dollars in 2014 had reached 2.7 trillion US dollars and would cross the 3 trillion dollar-mark later this financial year.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government would look at opening up foreign investment in aviation, media, animation, visual effects, gaming and comics and insurance sectors.(AFP)
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government would look at opening up foreign investment in aviation, media, animation, visual effects, gaming and comics and insurance sectors.(AFP)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who underlined the pitch to make India a US $ 5 trillion economy by 2024, on Friday outlined a string of reforms to give a fillip to the economy that had touched a five-year-low of 6.8 per cent in the last fiscal. The Economic Survey has already projected a 7 per cent growth rate for 2019-20.

The finance minister said India’s economy, which stood at 1.85 trillion dollars in 2014 had reached 2.7 trillion US dollars and would cross the 3 trillion dollar-mark later this financial year. She also stressed that the government spending on food security had doubled over the last five years, a suggestion that the NDA government’s push to the economy took care of the poorest as well.

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“We have set the ball rolling for a New India,” the finance minister said, describing the verdict in the national elections that voted the Narendra Modi’s government as one “charged with brimming hope for new India”.

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“We need to invest in infrastructure, digital economy and job creation in small and medium enterprises,” Sitharaman said, pledging to take steps to raise investments in infrastructure, digital economy, job creation.

In course of her speech, Nirmala Sitharaman also made it clear that the government was willing to take bold steps.

She said the government would look at opening up foreign investment in aviation, media, animation, visual effects, gaming and comics and insurance sectors.

She also said the government would ease local sourcing norms for single-brand retail sector that has been a politically-sensitive area. “100% FDI would be permitted for insurance intermediaries,” she said.

Sitharaman’s budget, which is seen to be attempting to reverse weakening growth and investment, also promised blueprints for a national gas grid, water grid, electricity grid and regional airports will be unveiled.

The finance minister, according to PTI, also said cargo movement in Ganga will increase four times in four years. Schemes such as Bharatmala, Sagarmala and UDAN are bridging rural-urban divide and improving transport infrastructure, she said adding that in the second phase of Bharatmala project, states will be helped to develop roadways. The finance minister also said the government will create a payment platform for MSMEs for payment of bills.

(For full budget coverage log on to livemint.com)

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