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India Makes Changes to Budget

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India is increasing the amount of money it spends on education, health and rural infrastructure in an effort to fight poverty.

Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram made changes to personal income taxes and increased the number of services in ervice taxes to simplify the system.

“India is not a poor country. Yet a significant number of our people are poor,” said Chidambaram. “The whole purpose of democratic government is to eliminate poverty and to give to every citizen the opportunity to be educated, to learn a skill and to be gainfully employed.”

According to a Reuters article,

“About 260 million Indians live below the poverty line and around two-thirds of the country’s billion-plus people depend on agriculture. The Congress-led coalition was voted into power unexpectedly last May after promising to improve their lot.

Chidambaram effectively suspended attempts to drive down the fiscal deficit, which he said would hit 4.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the year to March 31, 2005, a tenth of a point higher than targeted in last July’s budget.”

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India Makes Changes to Budget
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