HIglights of Union Budget 2009 Presented To Indian Parliament

. 7/6/09

The finance minister of India on Monday outlined plans to speed infrastructure development and unveiled increased spending for farmers and the poor in the first budget since the Congress-led government was re-elected convincingly in May.

Following are the highlights from the budget speech:

* "The first challenge is to return the GDP growth rate of 9 percent per annum at the earliest."

* "The second challenge is to deepen and broaden the agenda for inclusive development."

* "There are signs of revival in domestic industry and foreign investors have also returned to Indian markets in the last couple of months."

* "It is possible that the two worst quarters since the global financial meltdown in September 2008 are behind us."

* "While the global financial condition has shown improvement over the recent month, uncertainty relating to the revival of the global economy remains. We cannot, therefore, afford to drop our guard.

* "We have to continue our efforts to provide further stimulus to the economy."

* 2008/09 GDP growth seen at 6.7 pct.

* To ensure more flexibility to India Infrastructure Finance Co Ltd

* Have asked states to remove bottlenecks on infrastrcture projects

* Allocates 5 bln rupees for Mumbai flood project

* Liquified natural gas infrastructure in the country to be expanded

* To raise allocation for National Highways Development by 23 percent

* To raise allocation for urban poor schemes to 39.73 billion rupees in 2009/10

* Targeting agriculture credit of 3.25 trillion rupees

* To pay additional interest subvention of 1 percent to farmers who pay short-term farm loans on schedule

* To extend agriculture debt waiver by 6 months

* Plans to move towards nutrient-based subsidy regime for fertilisers

* To offer direct subsidy to farmers

* To extend interest subvention to exporters in 7 sectors till March 2010

* To give relief to exporters hit by global financial crisis

* To allocate 40 billion rupees to encourage lending to small firms

* To set aside 1 billion rupees for banking services in unbanked areas

* To allocate of 391 billion rupees for rural jobs programme in 2009/10 , 144 percent more than in 2008/09

* To raise allocation for rural roads scheme by 59 pct in 2009/10

* To raise allocation to Bharat Nirman infrastructure programme by 45 percent

* To allocate 70 billion rupees for rural electrification scheme

* To allocate 20 billion rupees for rural housing under National Housing Bank

* To set up 2 handloom clusters, 1 power loom cluster

($1=48.17 rupees)

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