Govt Believes in Creating Assets, not Doles, says Das
New Delhi: The government is committed to fiscal prudence and would rather invest in creating productive assets that will help alleviate poverty than resort to giveaways, said economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das.
“Instead of giving out doles, the government believes in spending that money in productive sectors like infrastructure, consisting of let’s say the railways, the roads or irrigation,” said Das, one of the key architects of the Budget that was unveiled on Wednesday by FM Jaitley. “Productive expenditure has a multiplier effect to create more employ- ment opportunity and augment growth. If you have to pull people out of poverty, then you need to create productive assets, create an environment where there will be more job opportunities.” With cash having flooded into the banking system following demonetisation, he anticipates borrowing costs will decline, a development that should revive flagging investment and act as a growth booster. “We are looking forward to a regime of low interest rates, sufficient liquidity in the banking system thanks to demonetisation, and also now government open market borrowing has been reduced,” Das said.
Again, the tender specifies minimum operating altitude of 41,000 feet, an unusual requirement given that most chief ministers use state air- craft for short-haul flying.
The tender also says the aircraft must not be older than 15 years, which is unusual in a different way. Most aircraft for VIP travel that are bought or leased are less than 5 years old or new.
The state government did not respond to ET queries despite several reminders. Queries were emailed to Arijit Banerjee, secretary-information and public relations, Rajasthan government, and to PK Goyal, the state’s principal secretary, civil aviation.
Banerjee told ET to direct its queries only to the “relevant department”. Goyal did not respond to emailed queries or text messages.
Deepshikha Sikarwar & Vinay Pandey