North Block in New Delhi, Which Houses the Finance Ministry. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Budget 2017: India Wants Job Creation In Small Industries, Farm Sector Sops

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  • A Twitter poll conducted by the finance ministry shows that a majority of citizens on on the microblogging site want the upcoming Union Budget to focus on sops for the farmer sector and more job creation in small and medium industries (SMEs).

    The ministry is seeking suggestions on Twitter for the second year in a row, beyond the usual pre-budget consultations.

    The finance ministry, since January 6, posted four questions on its official Twitter handle @FinMinIndia, pertaining to different sectors, and segments of the economy, and will accept responses only till January 13, 2017.

    Favoured Schemes

    The latest query, posted on January 10 on the ministry's Twitter handle, asked users which government scheme deserves the most attention.

    As of 8:15 pm on January 10, the online poll had 1,547 responses. Fifty-one percent voted for the Housing for All Scheme. This was followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Startup India scheme which got 23 percent of the votes. The Standup India scheme, aimed at facilitating loans to underprivileged castes, drew the fewest responses at 11 percent while 15 percent voted for the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana for refinancing activities.

    Farm Focus

    The ministry also asked users to vote on which section – among farmers, youth, women and children, and the underprivileged – needs more focus in the budget.

    As of 8:15 pm on January 10, the online poll had 6,965 responses with 52 percent voting in favour of farmers, 30 percent in favour of the youth, 11 percent of the underprivileged and women and children drew the least number of votes at 7 percent.

    Job Creation

    The finance ministry also asked users to suggest sectors that need to be prioritised in terms of job creation.

    As of 8:15 pm on January 10, the online poll had 6,867 responses. Fifty-three percent of the voters said small and medium enterprises deserves the most attention. Low cost housing was the second most voted area with 29 percent of votes. Automobile and spare parts garnered 10 percent of votes, while the garments sector saw the fewest votes at 8 percent.

    In his address to the nation on the New Year's eve, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had unveiled a series of measures to support the small and medium entrepreneurs.

    Sectoral Push

    The first poll question that the ministry had put up on its Twitter handle on January 6 asked users to vote for the sector that needs to be on top of the government’s agenda in the Union Budget.

    This poll had the most number of responses at 23,052, as of 8:15 pm on January 10. Twitteratti voted for agriculture as the sector which needs most focus with 65 percent of the votes going its way. Infrastructure and manufacturing were the other two sectors that followed with 17 percent and 11 percent of the votes respectively. IT and services saw the least clicks with just 7 percent vote share.

    You can head to the finance ministry’s Twitter handle to cast your vote, and also see the latest poll results.