New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday hailed the Union Budget 2008-09 as pro-agriculture and pro-investment, saying the measures announced would address the problems of the critical farm sector and would lead to overall development of the economy.
Complimenting the move for development of stock markets and investment opportunities, he said listing of more PSUs would help the sentiment.
“There are good prospects for PSUs ... markets are thirsty for good chips,” he said on Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s initiative for listing of more public sector companies through part divestment to unleash their potential.
The government has made a generous gesture in announcing a loan waiver for farmers, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.
Singh said the Budget made an attempt at removing regional inequalities by aiding development in backward states like Bihar, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.
He, however, said while the Central Government made allocations, it was for the states to ensure the implementation of schemes at the ground level.
The Prime Minister said the sluggish growth rate in the agricultural sector was a matter of concern and noted that government would raise investment in the area to 16% of the GDP.
He said a number of initiatives have been announced by the Finance Minister to encourage farmers and make them active partners in the accelerated economic growth.
Singh said except for the Women’s Reservation Bill, the Government has made beginnings on all other points listed in the UPA’s Common Minimum Programme.