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Budget will give big push to rural sector: Walmart

Bengaluru

01-February-2020

The Union Budget for 2020-21 would give a big push to the country's rural sector as it is anchored around agriculture, health and education, global retail giant Walmart's India Chief Executive Krish Iyer saod on Saturday.

"The budget will lead to creation of a new aspirational India, as it seeks to strengthen grassroots of the economy, with its positive push towards creation of a strong agriculture infrastructure, which will give a big push to the rural sector," Iyer told IANS in an e-mail here.

As cuts in the personal income tax rates would increase disposable income of the middleclass people, Iyer said the measure would enhance consumption through purchasing power.

"These two positive budgetary interventions would lead to a strong demand growth that drives the Indian economy in turn. This is a budget that unveils the roadmap to Prime Minister's vision of $5 trillion economy by 2024-25 by reinvigorating the hopes of both urban and rural consumers," Iyer said.

The US-based Walmart acquired majority equity stake (77 per cent) in the country's leading e-tailor Flipkart in May 2018 for a whopping $16 billion to take on its US-based rival Amazon and other e-commerce players in the subcontinent.

In his reaction, Biscuit maker Britannia Industries' Managing Director Varun Berry said the budget attempts to activate multiple levers like rural, infrastructure, entrepreneurship and financial sectors to stimulate growth.

"It remains to be seen which of these will fire and to what extent. We are optimistic about the government's rural agenda and hope that it buoys consumer demand for the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) sector," said Berry in a statement here.

Harsha Razdan, partner of global professional services major KPMG in India, said the budget has focused on uplifting the ease and quality of life for all, with the objective of achieving a consumption-led growth.

"Key elements of the budget such as 16-point action plan for integrated solutions for farmers, focus on better wellness and health and education and skill development initiatives will be crucial to the aAspirational India' growth agenda," Razdan said in a statement here.

Razdan, who also heads the consumer markets and internet business of KPMG's Indian arm here, said: "Thrust on MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) through credit availability and compliance burden reduction will augment entrepreneurship, thus impacting job creation."

"Overall, the budget provides a larger vision with a holistic focus to maintain a balance between strengthening infrastructure, modernisation and driving growth. Speed and quality of implementation of schemes and initiatives will be key to maximise benefits for overall development," he added.IANS