Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday set the fiscal deficit for 2018-19 at 3.3 per cent of gross domestic product, slightly higher than expectations for 3.2 per cent. Eyeing an election next year, the government announced massive spending for rural areas and projected an economic growth above 8 per cent in the budget that won broad approval from economists, though bond and share markets fell. Mr Jaitley also announced plans to introduce "the world's largest government funded health care programme", saying it would cover some 50 crore of the country's poorest people.
Here's what Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, SBI said on Union Budget 2018:
"Budget 2018 is a comprehensive budget comprising key measures that would have a positive impact on various segments including tenant farmers, 10 crore poor families, senior citizens, among others. Combined with these, the idea of a national gold policy and integration of the TReDS platform with GSTN for the SME are all significant policy changes aimed at transforming the overall economy.
Involving bright students to improve the level of education should have a telling impact on the quality of teaching in our country. Further, retaining net market borrowings for FY'19 at almost the same level as in the current year will compensate for higher fiscal deficit envisaged in the budget. Overall, we believe all these measures will augur well for meaningful growth in FY'19."