Kolkata, Feb 9 : Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday asserted the Union Budget for 2020-21 was aimed to invest more and more on infrastructures and assets creations to strengthening the economy for achieving India's target to be the $ 5 trillion economy by 2024/25. “I think we have laid the foundation for increasing consumption, ensuring that capex (capital expenditure) and government’s investments will go towards spending on building of assets in infrastructure which should have cascading effects both in the short term and in the long term,” Ms. Sitharaman said.
“In order to address rural distress, 16 focused action points have been announced in the budget. So I expect all this will lead to a five trillion dollar economy,” the finance minister explained. Ms Sitharaman also allayed fear in the case of disinvestment of its share in the LIC saying only eight to 10 per cent government's stake in the national insurer would be divested and the money from the sale would go to the general public and LIC's business would be as usual. On GST, Ms Sitharaman advocated for rationalization of the Goods and Services Tax rates once a year and not every three months as it was practiced now.
She also advocated that the state governments should also make representation regarding the rates. Replying to a question if any benefit was given to the West Bengal government in the Budget presented by her, she said her presentation of the budget for the whole country and not directed to any particular state. “I do not know how I answer this question of kisko keya mila (which state gets what). I am looking at the point of macroeconomic stability, building assets in the country, money directly going to hands of individuals because of reduced tax rates and so on,” she said. The announcements in the Budget encompassed various projects which are happening in different states, she elaborated. (UNI)