February 1, 2019 / 6:24 AM / 5 months ago

HIGHLIGHTS-India unveils budget aimed at tackling rural distress

(Adds new policies)

By Alasdair Pal

NEW DELHI, Feb 1 (Reuters) - India on Friday unveiled an interim budget with givaways for rural citizens, in what is being seen as a critical test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is facing anger over depressed farm incomes and unemployment with a general election just months away. (reut.rs/2UwBibi)

Here are the highlights of interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal’s budget for the 2019/20 fiscal year beginning April 1.

RURAL AFFAIRS

* India to allocate 750 billion rupees ($10.56 billion) per year to support farmers’ incomes

* Impact of 200 billion rupees in current fiscal year

* Vulnerable farmers to receive 6,000 rupees per year under new scheme

* Farmers affected by natural disasters to receive 2 percent interest subvention, additional 3 percent if they repay loans on time

* Govt to provide 2 pct interest subvention for farmers pursuing animal husbandry, fisheries

* Government to allocate 600 billion rupees for a rural employment scheme in 2019/20

* India to allocate 190 billion rupees for construction of rural roads in 2019/20

EMPLOYMENT

* India to launch social security coverage for workers in unorganised sector

* New scheme to provide assured monthly pension of 3000 rupees per month, with contribution of 100 rupees per month, for workers in unorganized sector after 60 years of age

* Scheme will benefit 100 million workers in unorganized sector, may become the world’s biggest pension scheme for unorganized sector in five years - finmin

ECONOMICS

* India’s current account deficit for 2018/19 seen at 2.5 pct of GDP

* Fiscal deficit for 2018/19 seen at 3.4 percent of GDP

* Goyal says expects other banks on the central bank’s Prompt Corrective Action list to be removed soon

$1 = 71.0420 Indian rupees Complied by by Alasdair Pal; Editing by Krishna N. Das

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