Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's speech in LS
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's speech in LS

Budget presents a "big picture", committed to path of fiscal consolidation: Sitharaman

ANI | Updated: Jul 10, 2019 19:55 IST

New Delhi (India), July 10 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday that the Budget 2019 gives a "big picture" of the newly elected government which has received a strong mandate from the people of India and asserted that it was committed to the path of fiscal consolidation.
Replying to a debate on the Union Budget 2019-20, the Finance Minister said it reflects the commitment of the government to "substantially boost" investment in agriculture, social sector, particularly in education and health.
"The Budget is a big picture of the newly elected government which received a strong mandate from people of India. It tells the nation that a five trillion dollar economy target by the government has been set," she said.
To achieve the five trillion dollar economy target, she said the government has effectively planned to bring investment into the economy, manufacturing within India and generating jobs.
She said the government's intention is to push infrastructure development and invest over 100 lakh crore rupees in the next five years.
Over the difference in the growth rate projected in the Economic Survey against the figures projected in the Budget 2019, the Minister said: "The growth rate of nominal GDP has been projected at 12 per cent in the Union Budget 2019-20, whereas the growth rate of nominal GDP in the Economic Survey was projected at 11 per cent."
She said as compared to the Economic Survey, the one projected in the Budget is on a lower GDP base because the Interim Budget also used the same lower GDP base which ensures comparability between the Interim and regular.
"Deficit ratios projected can be compared so I hope scholars understand the consistency with which the budget document is produced as opposed to the figures in the Economic Survey," she said.
Addressing the concerns raised during the Budget discussion, she said this Budget was second after the implementation of the GST from July 1, 2017.
"This Budget reflects the government's commitment to substantially boost investment in agriculture, health, and education. There need not be any anxiety that sectors like education or health will suffer, as we have planned to achieve this through prudent rationalisation of the resources," she said.
She said the Budget also mentioned effectively on the question of job generation, the growth of investment and turning the country into a manufacturing hub, which will be assured through greater investment from the government.
She said, projections made in the budget are realistic and adequately provides for items for expenditures such as defence, pensions and salaries, internal security and others.
Sitharaman said the total expenditure in the Budget is to the tune of Rs 27,86, 349 crore which is an increase of over Rs 3.44 lakh crore than the budget estimates of 2018-19.
Rejecting the opposition's charge of not properly addressing the farmer's concerns, the Finance Minister said it was completely false and stated that a comprehensive solution for the agriculture sector has been drawn out in the Budget.
"With regard to the MS Swaminathan recommendations on Minimum Support Prices, all commodities under the same has seen a big jump in MSP," she said while adding that the government has rolled out and implemented the PM-KISAN scheme with which Rs 6,000 is given to all farmers.
She said the government is also working on a pension scheme for farmers too. The Minister said that the government was committed to the path of fiscal consolidation without compromising on requirements of public expenditure and there was an increase in tax receipts of the government.
She said the government was committed to national security as also to "sabka saath, sabka vikas".
She referred to the government setting fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent from an earlier 3.4 per cent and said there should be no anxiety.
"The government is committed to continuing the path of fiscal consolidation+ without compromising on requirements of public expenditure placed by various sectors," she said.
"We will move GST Council to reduce the GST rate on e-vehicles from 12 per cent to 5 per cent," she said.
Opposition parties including Congress, Trinamool Congress, the DMK and others staged a walkout protesting against the government's proposal to impose cess by Re 1 per litre each on petrol and diesel, and 'unsatisfactory' reply from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the Budget discussion.
They demanded a rollback of the cess on fuel products and created ruckus during Sitharaman's reply in the House.