Budget 2020

‘Interim Budget was not election-oriented’

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on February 08, 2019 Published on February 08, 2019

It has laid out the govt’s achievements in the last five years, says Piyush Goyal

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said the Interim Budget was not an election-oriented one but was a “culmination” of the five-year term of the NDA government.

“This is not an election-oriented Budget. There were atleast a 100 other things on the table,” he said at a post-Budget interaction with industry chambers.

Goyal also took on critics on slippage in fiscal deficit and said it is much lower than estimated with the Revised Estimate for 2018-19 at 3.4 per cent, as against the Budget Estimate of 3.3 per cent.

“The actual figure is 3.367 per cent or ₹5,117 crore, which has been rounded off. The government did not make any adjustment,” he said, adding that it is a similar case for the deficit target for 2019-20.

Following the tax proposals in the Budget, Goyal said individuals with up to ₹9-lakh income will have almost zero tax liability by savings and investments. Similarly, 95-97 per cent of merchants will have to pay very little tax.

He said the government is working to get banks out of PCA norms and the Finance Ministry will ensure no merchant has to wait for loan sanctioning.

There was very little manoeuvring and headroom for what the government could do, Goyal said adding the Budget has laid out the government’s achievements in the last five years and its vision for the next decade.

“However, there were certain issues of need and urgency which we thought couldn't wait,” he said, listing out proposals such as income support to small and marginal farmers and measures for the unorganised sector workforce.

Goyal said the ideas for the interim Budget were closely worked out by the Prime Minister, Union Minister Arun Jaitley who is in the US, and Goyal himself.

“After the election, we will work on our 10-year vision,” he said.

Meanwhile, Financial Services Secretary Rajeev Kumar told industry leaders that after measures were taken to clean up the financial sector and fasten insolvency proceedings, financial institutions are ready to support growth.

“Banks are ready to partner with you,” he said, a day after the Reserve Bank of India cut the repo rate by 25 basis points.

Published on February 08, 2019
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor