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NEW DELHI: Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday unveiled the budget for fiscal 2022-23, that aims to boost growth amid continued disruption from COVID-19 and rising inflation.

Sitharaman announced more spending on roads, railways and higher subsidies for affordable housing, amid public criticism over inadequate relief following the economic disruption after the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020.

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These are the highlights from Sitharaman's fiscal 2022-23 budget:

Finance

  • Emergency credit line guarantee scheme for small and medium sized businesses to be extended to March 2023

  • Energy transition and climate action will be a major government priority

  • Public issue of Life Insurance Corporation expected shortly

  • Initiatives from last year's budget have been provided adequate allocations in this budget

  • Special Economic Zones Act to be replaced with new legislation

India targets infrastructure spending in growth budget

  • To amend bankruptcy code to speed up resolution process

  • Aims to lower winding up of companies to 6 months from 2 years currently

Defence

  • Govt committed to reducing defence imports

Infrastructure

  • 5G spectrum auctions to be conducted in 2022

  • Scheme for design-led manufacturing for 5G will be part of production-linked scheme

    • To award contracts to lay optical fibre in rural areas, completion in 2025

    • 480 billion rupees set aside for affordable housing in 2022/23

Agriculture

  • Domestic scheme introduced to reduce dependence on oilseed imports

    • Fund with blended capital raised under co-investment model to finance agriculture startups

    • Railways to develop infrastructure for small farmers in 2022/23

Transport

  • 400 energy efficient trains to be manufactured over next three years

  • National highways network to be expanded by 25,000km in 2022/23

  • Highways expansion to cost 200 billion rupees in 2022/23

  • India budget: to bring out battery swapping policy

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