The special circumstances in which this year’s budget will be presented makes it unique even before it is tabled in the Indian Parliament. Covid has created an unprecedented economic shock. And our population’s low and lower-middle income segments have been disproportionately impacted—income has declined, unemployment is rampant, and many families’ savings have been depleted. It’s not surprisingly then, that expectations from this year’s budget are so great.
As impact investors, we work with purpose-driven entrepreneurs trying to build organizations of sufficient scale to address some key needs of India’s underserved population. These entrepreneurs are from a wide range of for-profit social enterprises and non-profits working in areas like education, health, agriculture, and livelihood and property rights. With a rapidly digitizing India, it has become much easier to reach and serve large segments of the worst affected, particularly the ‘next half billion’—i.e., 500 million low and lower-middle income Indians who have recently come online for the first time or are expected to do so in the next couple of years.
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