This Budget assumes greater significance as it comes amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to a massive economic disruption in India and around the world. The government’s aim to spend Rs 1.97 lakh crore on various PLI schemes over the next 5 years, is a step in the right direction. This move is likely to attract global players in the Indian manufacturing sector as the government is planning to offer plug-and-play infrastructure. The special focus on manufacturing will also assist in augmenting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in this sector which is undoubtedly the need of the hour.
The announcement to extend social security benefits to gig and platform workers is also a significant move considering that it now forms an important part of the economy. Minimum wages to all categories of workers will ensure economic development of the blue collar workforce and will impact around 15 million gig workers in India. The move to allow women to work in all categories and also in night shifts with adequate protection will ensure more participation of women in the workforce and further boost economic development.
The Budget 2021 also addresses the needs of the unorganized labour force, with the proposal to launch a portal to collect relevant information on gig workers, building/construction workers, among others. This will help formulate health, housing, skill, insurance credit and food schemes for migrant workers. This proposal is indeed required to make India’s workforce future ready.”