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Modi's huge handouts could win votes but won't end poverty

Government must create jobs, not just offer cash: renowned Indian economist

Narendra Modi's government has announced huge handouts to India's poor in the latest budget ahead of general elections due by May. Here, a woman peels sugarcanes on a railway track to sell it to sugarcane juice vendors at a slum area in Kolkata, India.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- Narendra Modi's government unveiled an ambitious budget last week with huge handouts for India's poor, a move that could certainly win him votes in the upcoming elections but will do little to alleviate poverty in the long term, analysts said.

Modi's government vowed to build physical as well as social infrastructure for a $10 trillion economy by 2030 in an extravagant, populist interim budget for the fiscal year starting April 1, announced last Friday. Under this plan, every Indian family will have a roof over its head and live in a "healthy, clean and wholesome" environment by that time.

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