Budget blends fiscal prudence, needs of the economy: Jaitley

ANI | Updated: Feb 01, 2018 17:58 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 1 (ANI): Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said this year's Union Budget is a blend of fiscal prudence and addressing the needs of the economy.

Addressing a press conference, Jaitley, when asked about reforms for the middle-class, claimed that step by step, in every budget, surplus money is being "put into the hands of the middle-class taxpayer."

"This year's Budget accounts for 11 months of GST revenue collections, which has had an impact on fiscal deficit. In every budget, I have given some relief to middle class," he said.

Jaitley, while responding to a question from the media, said it was important to recognise the growing needs of the economically backward strata of society, adding that the rural segment was recognised unanimously as the area that required maximum support.

He further said the government was keen on expanding roadways, railways and airways, while keeping their fiscal deficit in line with the government's target.

"We had said we will work on reducing corporate tax. However, the tax exemptions that we had in mind were not facilitated, and hence, we could not address this issue. Bringing the SME sector into tax relief bracket was necessary to support them," said Jaitley.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the scheme announced to increase minimum support price, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian clarified that there will be no impact of this on inflation or consumer prices.

He further said the government's decision to go back on the path of fiscal consolidation certifies its commitment to maintain the fiscal deficit target and curb inflation. (ANI)