Based mostly on inputs from floor, PM had vetted Finances: Sitharaman

Today News Online Service

New Delhi, February 20

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the latest Union Budget, which was carefully vetted by PM Narendra Modi, has laid down a clear policy-driven agenda for private sector-driven growth.

It is now “entirely” on the industry’s shoulders to take the lead and set the country on a firm growth path. “The policy is clear and the ease-of-doing business is improving. Post corporate tax cut, I would like to see the industry to come forward with its so-called animal spirit to position India as the world’s fastest growing economy,” she said while addressing the 65th foundation day of All Indian Management Association and the 15th national management day.

The Finance Minister stressed that “each line of the Budget was carefully thought out’’ with the PM himself reviewing the inputs given by the business community.

The PM brought in his immense experience and direct contact with the industry to shape the Budget and now the industry must make the best out of it, she said.

The Union Finance Minister defended the largescale privatisation programme and easing of foreign investment norms by stating that it reflected the mood of the nation since the logic of incremental change was no longer valid. “We need transformational change without which it is not possible for India to reach the level that is so necessary to meet the aspirations of most of the people.”

Along with providing a sense of security, assurance and continuity, the government also envisages a country that is a strongly people-led democracy that abides by the rule of law and where every Indian has a healthy life and access to education.

Transformational change is needed to get over decades of slow growth and lethargy. In disinvestment, she said, “we have not behaved like other governments”. The previous “disinvestment in trickles” was not very successful in spreading the ownership pattern.

“Taxpayer’s money should go to people who need support and need not be kept in institutions which you are not very good at turning. The government finds more sense for such undertakings to be run with professional skill available outside the government,” she said.  

The Finance Minister underlined the government’s commitment to spend massively on infrastructure and promised that the high capital expenditure will not be a one-year story.

“Therefore, you will have to contribute to sustaining growth because the government has chosen to spend on infrastructure in a big way,” she reiterated the government’s message to the industry.

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