Budget to put India ‘back on track’: Jaitley

Budget to put India ‘back on track’: Jaitley

Agency News

New Delhi, Jul 6 : Senior BJP leader and former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday hailed the Budget 2019-20 stating that it has given the "political direction for an aspirational India" and that the policy document presented by his successor Nirmala Sitharaman has laid down the roadmap for India to "get back on track".

"The Budget creates a political direction for an aspirational India. The economically weaker sections get the basic amenities of life....Unquestionably, the Budget as a policy document lays down the roadmap for India to get back on track," Mr Jaitley wrote in a Facebook posting.

In his article Mr Jaitley wrote that the railways is one of the top priorities of the Government.

"Besides faster trains, modernised coaches, additional railway safety measures, very soon India will witness the modernisation of its railway stations similar to what today has happened to the airports. Increase in port capacity, further development of inland water transportation and expanding the aviation sector to the remotest corner of the country is the roadmap which the Finance Minister has presented. This will be the India of 2024."

Mr Jaitley, who did not join the Modi government in its second term owing to his ill health, pointed out that the income-tax exemption limit was increased to Rs five lakh in the interim Budget a few months ago in February. Moreover, several sectors of interest to the middle class and the neo-middle class have been incentivised.

In this context, he said these, in particular, include affordable housing and electric vehicles. "Massive infrastructure creation also has the ability to generate employment and attract investment. So does a boost to the construction and real estate sector.

India will continue to be the fastest growing major economy in the world".

However, he admitted that in the last two to three quarters growth has seen a moderation.

Mr Jaitley said a fundamental question has always been asked as to what would one choose in budget making between good economics and clever politics.

"The choice is unfair because any Government needs both in order to survive and perform. The Prime Minister's first tenure witnessed this blending of good economics and good politics," he said.

"Subsidies in the form of transfer of facilities to the poor is an example of the blending of good economics and good politics. The villages get roads, the poor get houses, and every household got a toilet, a gas connection and an electricity connection. Fifty crore people got hospital treatment up to Rs 5 lakh per year.....the Budget (2019-20) takes upon itself the task of concentrating, in the next five years, on a tap for every home," former Finance Minister wrote.

He also said: "The present Budget maintains that path based on the premise that economies which are fiscally prudent, eventually get rewarded as against those who indulge in fiscal adventurism".

Laying out the economic roadmap, Finance Minister Ms Sitharaman in her maiden Budget speech on Friday said the target of making India a USD 5 trillion economy in the next few years was "imminently achievable".

The Finance Minister also said that India would become a USD 3 trillion economy from what is at present USD 2.7 trillion economy. (UNI)