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Today, more than ever, I seek the same support as we navigate the Indian economy through a crisis that has enveloped the whole world and spared none.

I. Global economic growth slowed from 3.9 percent in 2011 to 3.2 percent in 2012. India is part of the global economy: our exports and imports amount to 43 percent of GDP and two way external sector transactions have risen to 108 percent of GDP. We are not unaffected by what happens in the rest of the world and our economy too has slowed after 2010 11. In the current year, the CSO has estimated growth at 5 percent while the RBI has estimated growth at 5.5 percent. Whatever may be the final estimate, it will be below India’s potential growth rate of 8 percent. Getting back to that growth rate is the challenge that faces the country. Even now, of the large countries of the world, only China and Indonesia are growing faster than India in 2012 13. And in 2013 14, if we grow at the rate projected by many forecasters, only China will grow faster than India. Between 2004 and 2008, and again in 2009 10 and 2010 11, the growth rate was over 8 percent and, in fact, crossed 9 percent in four of those six years. The average for the 11th Plan period, entirely under the UPA Government, was 8 percent, the highest ever in any Plan period. Achieving high growth, therefore, is not a novelty or beyond our capacity. We have done it before and we can do it again. I shall now outline our plans and priorities. That is the mool mantra. It is growth that will lead to inclusive development, without growth there will be neither development nor inclusiveness. However, I may sound a note of caution. Owing to the plurality and diversity of India, and centuries of neglect, discrimination and deprivation, many sections of the people will be left behind if we do not pay special attention to them. As Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel prize winning economist, said, “There is a compelling moral case for equity; but it is also necessary if there is to be sustained growth. A country’s most important resource is its people.” We have examples of States growing at a fast rate, but leaving behind women, the scheduled castes, the scheduled tribes, the minorities, and some backward classes. The UPA does not accept that model. The UPA Government believes in inclusive development, with emphasis on improving human development indicators. I hope this Budget will be yet another testimony to that commitment. At present, the economic space is constrained because of a high fiscal deficit; reliance on foreign inflows to finance the current account deficit; lower savings and lower investment; a tight monetary policy to contain inflation; and strong external headwinds. During the course of my speech, I shall spell out measures that will address each of these issues. Vijay Kelkar Committee. A new fiscal consolidation path was announced. Red lines were drawn for the fiscal deficit at 5.3 percent of GDP this year and 4.8 percent of GDP in 2013 14. I know there is a lot of scepticism. In a little while, I shall tell you how we have fared. The CAD continues to be high mainly because of our excessive dependence on oil imports, the high volume of coal imports, our passion for gold, and the slow down in exports. This year, and perhaps next year too, we have to find over USD 75 billion to finance the CAD. There are only three ways before us: FDI, FII or External Commercial Borrowing (ECB). That is why I have been at pains to state over and over again that India, at the present juncture, does not have the choice between welcoming and spurning foreign investment. If I may be frank, foreign investment is an imperative. What we can do is to encourage foreign investment that is consistent with our economic objectives. The development model must have democratic legitimacy and approval. Some inflation is imported. Supply demand mismatch, for example in oilseeds and pulses, also pushes up inflation. Aggregate demand is another cause of inflation. The battle against inflation must be fought on all fronts. Our efforts in the past few months have brought down headline WPI inflation to about 7.0 percent and core inflation to about 4.2 percent. It is food inflation that is worrying, and we shall take all possible steps to augment the supply side to meet the growing demand for food items. Wisdom lies in finding the correct level of government expenditure. In the budget for 2012 13, the estimate of Plan Expenditure was too ambitious and the estimate of non Plan Expenditure was too conservative. Faced with a huge fiscal deficit, I had no choice but to rationalise expenditure. We took a dose of bitter medicine. It seems to be working. We also took some policy decisions that had been deferred for too long, corrected some prices, and undertook a review of certain tax policies. We have retrieved some economic space. As I outline our plans and priorities, Hon’ble Members will find that I have used that economic space to advantage and to advance the UPA Government’s socio economic objectives.

II. Anticipating a global and domestic recovery, total expenditure had been fixed at 14,90,925 crore. Due to the slowdown and the austerity measures, the revised estimate is 14,30,825 crore or 96 percent of the budget estimate. The economic space that we have gained has given me the confidence to be more ambitious in 2013 14. I have been able to set the BE of total expenditure at 16,65,297 crore and of plan expenditure at 5,55,322 crore. Hon’ble Members will be happy to know that plan expenditure in 2013 14 will be 29.4 percent more than the revised estimate of the current year. All flagship programmes have been fully and adequately funded. I dare say I have provided sufficient funds to each Ministry or Department consistent with their capacity to spend the funds. Now, it is over to the Ministries and Departments to deliver the outcomes through good governance, prudent cash management, close monitoring and timely implementation.

16. on the one side is economic policy. On the other side is economic welfare. We are a developing country. The link between policy and welfare can be expressed in a few words: opportunities, education, skills, jobs and incomes. Every mother understands this. Every young man and woman understands this. My budget for 2013 14 has before it one overarching goal: to create opportunities for our youth to acquire education and skills that will get them decent jobs or self employment that will bring them adequate incomes that will enable them to live with their families in a safe and secure environment. I know their concern for the welfare and progress of the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes for whom the Budget has sub plans. I also know their concern that adequate funds must be provided for programmes that benefit women, children and the minorities. I have tried to meet these concerns as fully as possible. I propose to allocate 41,561 crore to the scheduled caste sub plan and 24,598 crore to the tribal sub plan. The total represents an increase of 12.5 percent over the BE and 31 percent over the RE of the current year. I reiterate the rule that the funds allocated to the sub plans cannot be diverted and must be spent for the purposes of the sub plans. Young women face gender discrimination everywhere, especially at the work place. Ministry of Women and Child Development has been asked to design schemes that will address these concerns. This is an increase of 12 percent over the BE and 60 percent over the RE of 2012 13. Its corpus stands at 750 crore. With the objective of raising it to 1,500 crore during the 12th Plan period, I propose to allocate 160 crore to the corpus fund. The Foundation wishes to add medical aid to its objectives. I have accepted that a beginning can be made by providing medical facilities such as an infirmary or a resident doctor in the educational institutions run or funded by the Foundation. I propose to allocate a sum of 110 crore to the Department of Disability Affairs for the ADIP Scheme in 2013 14, as against the RE of 75 crore in the current year.
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