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Narendra Modi's first budget targets growth, jobs

Narendra Modi's first budget targets growth, jobs

budgetNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s new government unveiled what it called a budget for growth on Thursday and vowed to curb borrowing after the longest economic slowdown in a quarter of a century.

Delivering his maiden budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told parliament that India`s 1.2 billion people were "exasperated" after two years of economic growth of below 5%. Also Read-- highlights of Union Budget 2014-15...
He vowed that Asia`s third largest economy would expand at a rate of 7-8 percent within three to four years. To open up India`s economy, Jaitley announced that he would lift caps on foreign investment in the defence and insurance sectors.

"We shall leave no stone unturned in creating a vibrant and strong India," Jaitley, 61, told lawmakers after climbing the steps of parliament and showing his budget briefcase to TV cameras.

Modi, 63, won a landslide general election victory in May with a pledge to create jobs for the 1 million people who enter India`s workforce every month. He has since warned of the "bitter medicine" needed to nurse the economy back to health from high inflation and the worst slowdown since free-market reforms in the early 1990s unleashed an era of rapid growth.

At the same time, Jaitley vowed to adhere to a "daunting" budget deficit target of 4.1% of gross domestic product that the new government inherited from its predecessor. "I have decided to accept this challenge - one fails when one stops trying," Jaitley told a hushed lower house of parliament. 


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