As a precursor to the importance of entrepreneurship in India, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave a brief background to the concept by contextualizing the trade and commerce to the ancient Saraswati Sindhu civilization and the Harappan civilization. Talking about economic development, the Finance Minister highlighted that industry, commerce, and investment came first in our country.
Sitharaman pointed out in her speech that India, as a country, has had an ancient connection with industry and trading. She spoke about the guilds of the Saraswati Sindhu civilization and also the remarkable Harappan seals which date back to about 4000 BCE. In an attempt to highlight that India has been a continuing civilization with rich skills in trading, the Finance Minister also pronounced words from the Indus era scripts which have been deciphered from the hieroglyphs.
"Shreni is a word found in the Harappan seals which means guild. Sethi is a word found in the Harappan seals which means wholesale merchant. Sethi was a wholesale merchant in the Saraswati Sindhu civilization. Potdar is an assayer of metal into the treasury," said Sitharaman in her speech for Union Budget 2020.
These words, according to her, need to be known when discussing matters of commerce and industry. Another word that she spoke of was 'khurmi' which indicated the existence of black smithery with metals like tin and iron during the ancient Indian civilizations.
She said, "Commerce and trade-related words show how India for a millennium has been a continuing civilization with rich skills in metallurgy and rich skills in trading and so on...India's commerce, industry, and trade in [such materials] metals which were all unique to India have existed and continues to exist over the millennium. "
This year's Budget assumes tremendous significance as the Indian economy is facing multiple challenges such as a rise in inflation, unemployment, farmer distress and a dip in GDP growth. While beginning her Budget speech, the Finance Minister had said that the focus would be on increasing incomes and elevating purchasing power.
In its Economic Survey 2020 released on Friday, the Union government predicted that the economic growth would pick up to 6.0 per cent to 6.5 per cent in the fiscal year beginning April 1, but warned that it may have to exceed its deficit target to revive growth.