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FY22 Budget will be made in a manner never seen in a 100 years in India: Nirmala Sitharaman


India would never in a 100 years have seen a budget being made in a virtual manner post the pandemic and the country is set to be an engine of global growth, according to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

India was also very fortunate to have the capacity to produce as much of the vaccine as required domestically and more for exports to chosen countries, Sitharaman said in a virtual address to a Confederation of Indian Industry conference, on Friday.

“Hundred years of India wouldn’t have seen a budget being made post a pandemic like this,” the minister said, adding, “Considering our size, the population and the potential that India holds, for a good growth-related building of our economy, I won’t hesitate here to say that we shall be the engine of global growth, along with a few other countries.”

Speaking on the vaccine production, she said, “We in India, have the capacity to be able to produce as much (of the vaccine) as we require and more for exports to countries where we choose to extend this facility for humanity’s sake.”

Health would take top priority going forward as the government would look to provide not just buildings for hospitals but the technology and infrastructure apart from improving the availability of doctors and nurses to service the industry, the minister said.

“Health and investment in health is going to be absolutely critical, not just to keep our lives safer but also to make health and health-related expenditures more predictable, for people not to do it out of pocket,” Sitharaman said.

Responding to a question regarding the vision for India in a year from now, the minister said the country would have moved a lot more forward in terms of digitisation and would be a dominant global player in the fintech industry.

“India would have moved a lot more on digitisation. India would have its signature on anything to do with fintech globally,” she said.

Further, the economy would see a hasty core sector revival as the manufacturing sector adopted the latest technology and the country would become a global leader in the infrastructure sector.

“India and its manufacturing would be probably already on a new platform, in the sense Indian industries would have adapted to great levels of technology,” Sitharaman said, adding, “You would also probably find that India would be leaders in infrastructure building, both private and public.”

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