Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Opportunities for Wisconsin companies in infrastructure, defense, energy, food processing and other sectors.

India’s finance minister unveiled the national budget for fiscal year 2016-17 last month, calling for total expenditures of $295 billion—$82 billion in planned expenditures and $213 billion in unplanned expenditures.

Key highlights of the budget are:

  • Total outlay for infrastructure is $33 billion, allocated towards roads and highways, railways, etc.
  • Defense spending increasing by 12 percent to $40.1 billion
  • Outlay of $1.8 billion for the power sector, aiming is to develop and utilize new and renewable energy resources for fulfilling the country’s energy requirements in an eco-friendly and sustainable manner
  • Allocation of $5 billion for agriculture and farmers’ welfare
  • Budgetary allocation in science, technology and environment increased 16 percent to $3.1 billion
  • Allocation of $3.14 billion towards the development of urban infrastructure and building of amenities to improve quality of life in cities
  • $1.8 billion for the Ministry of Water Resources
  • 100 percent FDI to be allowed in marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India

Since Narendra Modi became prime minister, India’s government has taken steps to create a friendlier business environment and boost India’s ranking in the ease of doing business index. According to the US-India Business Council, in 2016-17 it is expected that around $27 billion will be invested by U.S. companies in India.

Tax reforms presented in this budget set the stage for creating an attractive environment for foreign companies. The implementation of a Goods and Services Tax (GST) has the potential to be a game changer for the economy. Adding a free trade agreement between India and the U.S. in the near future would foster trade flows, create stronger ties and enhance cooperation between the two countries.