Statement from Naveen Aggarwal, Partner & COO Tax, KPMG in India
Aggregating agriculture for inclusivity – Clear focus on improving the fundamentals to achieve the twin objectives of improving farm productivity and making exports competitive in the run up to the government’s ambition of doubling the farm income by 2022. The Government’s commitment to farmer welfare is evident by institutionalizing mechanisms such as development of gramin agricultural markets, increasing MSPs, promoting cluster based agriculture, developing last mile infrastructure and a fillip to realise the untapped export potential of the sector. An undeterred focus on providing Direct Benefits Transfer to farmers will be a catalyst in realizing the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid.
Statement from Nilaya Varma, Partner and Head, Government and Healthcare, KPMG in India
“The proposed ‘Govardhan Scheme’ to promote compost based on cattle dung and farm compost for agriculture will give a major boost to Swachh Bharat Mission and generate community level employment.”
“India has taken a long stride towards Universal Health Coverage as envisioned in the NHP 2017, by announcing the launch of a flagship National Health Protection Scheme (NHPC) initiative with nearly 50 crore beneficiaries which will provide up to Rs 5 lakh to a family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. We need to learn from experiences from other parts of the world – A robust technology, integrated ground level operations and governance system will ensure success of NHPS and avoid delays in its implementation. Primary and wellness care is high on the government’s agenda. PPP, telemedicine and technology adoption will be key to enable for the proposed 1.5 lakh new health care centres for primary & wellness care. Free essential drugs and diagnosis will be instrumental in addressing growing non communicable diseases” . “Leveraging PPP for creating the announcement of 24 New Medical Colleges is necessary for this to be successful”.
“NHPS rollout will need effective gatekeeping system with an immediate focus and strengthening of primary care services in the country. Gatekeeping systems will ensure equity by judicious referral system to secondary & tertiary care”
“Total Health Protection Scheme as a precursor to UHC is very welcome. Scheme Design and creating the right Digital Health Infrastructure would be critical for this to be successful and avoid delay”.
“Government initiatives such as the National Fibre Grid, Digital India, proposal for 500+ new airports, promises to bring small cities into mainstream economic development agenda for the nation. This along with over 45000 km road network will help connect Bharat to India in true sense.”
“With an almost 50% allocation increase in Infrastructure sector, national priorities, such as Smart Cities, Affordable Housing, Metros, etc will get much needed impetus. However, institutional strengthening at State Level needed to ensure uptake. It will also drive industry participation. Sustainability is key and hence Investments must be safe guarded to ensure project selection are driven by economic and social merits”
” Finance and capacity together with accountability at city level is paramount for India to meet its urbanisation challenge. Government’s initiative of credit rating by Urban Local Bodies should be seen as a means and not an end by itself. We should link credit rating to a comprehensive programme of revenue augmentation and capacity building curated for each city”.
Rajaji Meshram, Director, Infrastructure, Government and Healthcare Services, KPMG in India
Union Budget 2018-19 allocates INR1.48 lakh crore for capital expenditure in Railways, the highest ever allocation in the history of Indian Railways. The focus of investment is on safety, electrification, track doubling/tripling and rolling stock such as train sets, wagons, coaches and locomotives. The announcement of setting-up first train set in 2018 is a welcome step as train sets have better acceleration characteristics as compared to conventional locomotive hauled trains. Station redevelopment programme has also got a decisive push with a target of 600 stations. Investments have also been announced for suburban railways in Bangalore and Mumbai cities. The paradigm shifting High Speed Railway project between Mumbai to Ahmedabad was formally launched in September 2017. The announcement of setting up of a specialised institute focussed on high speed railway technology is well timed as the HSR project enters the construction phase. The Budget also announced modernisation of good sheds which is important for increasing railway modal share in freight traffic.
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