Union finance minister Arun Jaitley before his Union Budget 2017 presentation on Wednesday. International media viewed Jaitley’s budget as an attempt to revive the Indian economy and pump priming measures after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive announced on 8 November last year. Photo: Hindustan Times
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley before his Union Budget 2017 presentation on Wednesday. International media viewed Jaitley’s budget as an attempt to revive the Indian economy and pump priming measures after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive announced on 8 November last year. Photo: Hindustan Times

Union Budget 2017: Here’s how global media reacted

Here's how media organizations such as the New York Times, BBC, Deutsche Welle view Union Budget 2017

New Delhi: Union finance minister Arun Jaitley’s Union budget 2017 has mostly received an indifferent response in the international media. Most of them outlined it as a budget to revive the Indian economy and pump priming measures after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive announced on 8 November last year.

Here are the reactions to Union Budget 2017:

■ The New York Times: Trying to spur an Indian economy hard hit by its cash shortage, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled plans on Wednesday for next year’s budget that would significantly increase spending on infrastructure, rural areas and antipoverty programs.

■ BBC: Arun Jaitley had to do a balancing act between the need to stimulate India’s growth and ensuring that the country’s spending is under control.

■ The Wall Street Journal: India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley managed a fine balancing act in his budget announcement Wednesday, increasing spending to stimulate growth while at the same time ensuring the government’s financial health isn’t weakened. Investors reacted positively to his announcements, as the benchmark stock index climbed as much as 1.8% after he presented the budget to Parliament. Measures to boost a variety of sectors and strengthen the government’s efforts to fight corruption were unveiled. The focus, however, was on the country’s villages and small towns where job losses and hardships due to a cash shortage caused by the sudden withdrawal of 86% of currency have been felt the most.

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■ Guardian: Cash donations to Indian political parties will be capped at 2,000 rupees (£23.50), with larger donations able to be made by “electoral bonds" under landmark funding reforms announced by the government. The changes were proposed by the finance minister, Arun Jaitley, while unveiling his first national budget since November’s shock decision to invalidate India’s two highest-value bank notes.

■ Deutsche Welle: Months after India’s PM Narendra Modi shocked the nation with an abrupt high-value bank note ban, hitting the country’s economic growth, the government has announced a plethora of sops to ease the pain.

■ Gulf Times: India aims to accelerate its growth and the budget has given emphasis to this by increasing investment in infrastructure, bringing fiscal discipline and keeping inflation under control. The budget has laid out strong emphasis to revive the growth in rural economy, which in turn will be reflected in the overall GDP. The budget has taken measures for reviving the capital expenditure in order to kickstart the investment cycle, On the whole, the steps taken by the budget will revive the GDP growth of Indian economy.

■ The Seattle Times: India’s finance minister pledged relief for middle class taxpayers and small and medium-sized companies on Wednesday, saying the government would spend billions of dollars to double farmers’ incomes, upgrade ramshackle infrastructure and provide cheap housing.

■ CNBC: While opinions vary on how long the disruptions caused by Modi’s crackdown on untaxed and illicit wealth will last, there is near unanimity among economists that Asia’s third-largest economy needs a helping hand… The rollout of a nationwide Goods and Services tax (GST), expected in July after years of delays, could also weigh on economic growth. Countries that have introduced GST in the past have often faced a relative economic slowdown before the benefits of a unified tax regime feed through.

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