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Budget 2021 marks a directional change for Indian economy: Sitharaman
New Delhi, February 5, 2021
Budget 2021 marks a directional change for the Indian economy, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday pointing out infrastructure, health and agriculture as the three large areas where big-ticket expenditure will take place.
“This Budget mark a clear directional change for the Indian economy and that directional change is not what the government has offered as a sudden response, but it was something that was preoccupying the Indian minds for over 30 years,” the Minister said while addressing FICCI’s National Executive Committee Meeting through video conferencing.
Sitharaman said this budget was trying to raise non-tax resources “at a time when we need a lot of money to spend."
“It is a budget which raises resources but not on the back of increased taxation. There is a directional change in the budget which is so distinct that it will fuel the entrepreneurial spirit which the Indians show given the right opportunities,” she added.
“I underline that we have not burdened any section of Indian society with any additional demand for even one additional rupee,” the Minister said.
“We have good confidence that revenue generation will improve through this year and we are confident that we will be bringing in non-tax revenue other than just disinvestments through various other monetization of assets and so on,” she added.
Sitharaman also urged the industry to come forward to make investments. “I hope the industry will understand the spirit with which the budget is placed before you and therefore also come forward to participate in this inevitable exercise.
“Industry, having cleared all its debts and finances, should now be in a position to invest money to expand and grow and clearly show signs that it is now ready to receive any joint ventures for the sake of technology that it prefers to have,” she added.
For providing immediate stimulus to the economy, the government will be spending in a big way in public infrastructure and three large areas where big-ticket expenditure will happen include infrastructure, health and agriculture.
“The Government alone, even if it brings bags full of money, cannot just meet the demand of the growing and aspirational India,” she said.
Speaking on the setting up of Development Financial Institutions (DFI), Sitharaman said, “We will enable one DFI and the entire financing of long-term infrastructure will happen in a very market-driven way. That itself will bring in more efficiency,” she added.
The government, she said, has taken a confident, trustworthy and transparent accounting statement in our budget. “There is no patching up or whitewashing. It was an honest attempt to give an honest statement of the government’s finances and with the reforms announced along with the stimulus. It is clear that this government is not sitting cautiously, and it is coming forward with faith in Indian industry and business leaders,” she added.
Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Finance Secretary; Tarun Bajaj, Secretary, Economic Affairs; and Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) also addressed the FICCI members.
FICCI president Uday Shankar said the most satisfying aspect of this budget was that there was not much tinkering of taxes. This adds to policy certainty and investor confidence. The budget also continues the government’s efforts towards enhancing the ease of doing business through easier compliances and faceless tax assessment. This is a big relief to taxpayers and, in the long run, will help widen the country’s tax base, he added.