‘PM Modi Be­lieves in Sys­tem­atic Changes, Not Doles’

The Economic Times - - Front Page -

CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS I con­grat­u­late PM@Naren­draModi and FM @ArunJait­ley for presenting a pro-poor, pro-farmer and a pro­mid­dle class Bud­get AMIT SHAH BJP Chief

New Delhi: The gov­ern­ment es­chewed pop­ulism in the Bud­get aheadof as­tringof statepoll­sto­fo­cus in­stead­on­theob­jec­tivestha­tled­toits de­mon­eti­sa­tion drive and to step up pub­lic in­vest­ment, par­tic­u­larly in agri­cul­ture, ru­ral de­vel­op­ment and in­fra­struc­ture.

The move to re­strict cash trans­ac­tions be­yond ₹ 3 lakh, for in­stance, is aimed at curb­ing black money and in­cen­tivis­ing for­mal econ­omy, se­nior of­fi­cials said. The gov­ern­ment was not un­der pres­sure to dole out pop­ulist mea­sures, they said. “Pop­ulist an­nounce­ments win you praise for a sin­gle day. Mea­sures rooted in some so­cial or eco­nomic ra­tio­nale have been pre­ferred,” said one of the of­fi­cials, who did not wish to be iden­ti­fied. “PM Modi doesn’t be­lieve in doles. He be­lieves in sys­tem­atic changes that can re­sult in sabka saath, sabka vikas,” he said.

PM Modi said, “The fo­cus of the Bud­get is on agri­cul­ture, ru­ral de­vel­op­ment and in­fra­struc­ture, which is also a re­flec­tion of the gover nment’s com­mit­ment to raise in­vest­ment and cre­ate em- ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

The Bud­get also sought to en­cour­age more in­di­vid­ual tax pay­ers and small busi­nesses to be­come tax com­pli­ant by re­duc­ing per­sonal in­come tax in the low­est bracket as well as tax for small-scale in­dus­tries. “The 5% tax re­lief is to tempt a large num­ber of po­ten­tial tax­pay­ers to join the tax net,” said an­other of­fi­cial. The PM also high­lighted low­er­ing of taxes on per­sonal in­come tax and small busi­nesses with a turnover of up to ₹ 50 crore. The move ap­peared to be an at­tempt to cush­ion the small busi­nesses af­ter re­ports that de­mon­eti­sa­tion hit them hard.

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