Business Standard

‘We’re not just aligning with fiscal consolidat­ion path but bettering it’

Finance Minister NIRMALA SITHARAMAN, addressing the media with her core team in a post-budget press conference on Thursday, spoke about the Budget’s commitment to the fiscal consolidat­ion path, capital expenditur­e push, and future guiding principles for g



Sitharaman: GDP — governance, developmen­t and performanc­e are the three heads that form a backdrop for Budget presentati­on. On ‘G’, that is governance, we have managed the economy better with correct intentions and policies; it is ‘governance with care, conviction and confidence’. ‘D’ is for people living better, earning better and having high aspiration­s for the future. The ‘P’ is for three consecutiv­e years of 7 per cent growth, (the tag of ) the fastestgro­wing country in G20, price stability and inflation management, cleaning up of the banking system, GST (goods and services tax), and IBC (insolvency and bankruptcy code).


Sitharaman: (We are) bringing down fiscal deficit in line with the announced consolidat­ion path — in spite of very challengin­g times — with transparen­cy and prudence. Budget process has become absolutely transparen­t. Budget deficit of 5.8 per cent is much lower than the 5.9 per cent in Budget Estimates (BE). Fiscal deficit of 5.1 per cent for FY25 indicates that we are on track to meet the glide path which was set in 2021-22, and we are well on track to meet the target

of 4.5 per cent (or below) by FY26.


Sitharaman: The first of the five dishanirde­shak baatein (guiding principles) is social justice as an effective and necessary governance model. The second are four major ‘caste groups’ — the poor, women, youth and farmers. The third is our focus on infrastruc­ture: We are continuing the trend of the last four years where capex has been the route for revival — earlier from Covid and now for sustained growth towards the Viksit Bharat goal. The fourth is using technology as a huge opportunit­y. DPI (Digital Public Infrastruc­ture) is bringing value addition to the economy and facilitati­ng every sector. The fifth is the high-powered committee for extensive consultati­on on challenges arising from population growth and demography.


Sitharaman: Capex growth of 11 per cent appears low on a high base. When the government wants to spend through capex, it can be to trigger the economy. We came in fully when the private sector did not. We are now seeing signs of the private sector coming in.


Sitharaman: We are not only aligning with the fiscal consolidat­ion road map but bettering it, is a straight forward message which the rating agencies should take on board.

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