Budget 2021 marks a directional change for Indian economy: Nirmala Sitharaman

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday that the union budget presented earlier this month marks a clear directional change for the Indian economy and seeks to raise non-tax resources at a time when the country needs a lot of money to spend.

Addressing FICCI’s national executive committee meeting via video conferencing here today she said infrastructure, health and agriculture were three large areas where big-ticket expenditure will happen.

“This budget marks 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,” she said.

“It’s 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.

The Finance Minister said the government has not burdened any section of Indian society “with any additional demand for even an additional rupee”.

She said the government has good confidence that revenue generation will improve through this year.

The minister said the government is confident that it will be bringing in non-tax revenue other than just disinvestments through various other monetization of assets.

She 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 said.

The minister said the government alone, even if it brings bags full of money, cannot just meet the demand of the growing and aspirational India,”Referring to Development Financial Institutions (DFI), Sitharaman said the government 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 efficiency.”

The government, she said, has taken a confident, trustworthy and transparent accounting statement in the budget.

“There is no patching up or whitewashing. It has 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,” the minister said.

According to an official release, FICCI President Uday Shankar said the most satisfying aspect of this budget is that they “did not see much tinkering of taxes” and this adds to policy certainty and investor confidence.

He said that 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 said. (ANI)