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Nirmala Sitharaman says Union Budget will boost investment without compromising fiscal consolidation

She said that the Budget has set a medium-term target of making India a $5 trillion economy, and this is ‘not without a plan’.

Nirmala Sitharaman says Union Budget will boost investment without compromising fiscal consolidation
A file photo of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament. | PTI

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday that the Union Budget for 2019-’20 will boost investment, PTI reported. The minister was replying to a discussion on the Budget in the Rajya Sabha.

The minister said the Budget will not compromise on India’s road map for fiscal consolidation. She said that the Budget has set a medium-term target of making India a $5 trillion economy, and this is “not without a plan”.

Sitharaman said the government will further liberalise Foreign Direct Investment norms, extended lower corporate tax to companies with Rs 400 crore turnover, and provide incentives for boosting use of electric vehicles in the country. All this will contribute to increasing investment, Sitharaman argued.

The minister said the government plans to invest Rs 100 lakh crore in infrastructure development over the next five years. She maintained that every projection of revenue and expense in the Budget is realistic.

Sitharaman had said on Wednesday that every figure quoted in the Union Budget was authentic. Replying to a debate on the Budget in the Lok Sabha, Sitharaman said the difference in the growth rate projected in the Economic Survey compared to the Budget arose because a lower Gross Domestic Product base was taken for calculation in the Interim Budget presented in February.

The Economic Survey had pegged the nominal GDP growth for 2019-’20 at 12%, while the Budget said it was 11%. “As compared to the Economic Survey, the one projected in the Budget is on a lower GDP base because the Interim Budget also used the same lower GDP base which ensures comparability between the Interim and regular,” Sitharaman said.

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