New Delhi: The reforms juggernaut which has been rolled out in the Union Budget 2021-22 will be implemented in a timely manner presaging an active participation from the private sector. These were the views echoed in unison by the key architects of the budget, at an interaction with CII. Mr Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary DIPAM, Mr Tarun Bajaj, Secretary Economic Affairs and Dr Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser, Government of India were speaking at the post-Budget interaction. More than 200 top CEOs from across the country and across sectors participated in the interaction.
Privatisation, as a means for improving efficiency and hence achieving higher productivity and improved allocation of resources, has been one of the guiding principles of the Budget, highlighted Mr Tuhin Kanta Panda, Secretary DIPAM, Ministry of Finance. The unveiling of the blueprint of a new privatisation policy in the budget is akin to the landmark reforms carried out in 1991, he further added. The policy has also opened a host of opportunities for the private players who now partake in India’s growth story by buying the brownfield assets of the PSEs at an attractive valuation.
Taking cognisance of the need to spur productive spending in the economy, the Budget has ramped up capital expenditure, so as to boost India’s medium to long-term growth potential, commented Mr Tarun Bajaj, Secretary Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance. The spelling out of the fiscal deficit glide path to bring down the deficit below 4.5% of GDP by FY2025-26 enunciates the intent of the government to rein in the expansionary stance in the years to come, he further added. Responding to a question on research and innovation, he said that the private sector should come forward and contribute proactively to the National Research Foundation (NSF) without anticipating any additional tax benefits as carrying out innovation is the key ingredient for being competitive.
Dr Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser, Government of India, highlighted that the reform measures delineated in the various phases of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan announced last year have culminated in the crescendo of the Union Budget. “It’s a far-sighted budget which has laid the background for ushering in higher growth in the years to come. The government is assured on under-promising and over-delivering on the key challenges facing the country”, Dr Subramanian added. The government is confident of achieving a much lower level of fiscal deficit in the next fiscal, Dr Subramanian said, as compared to what has been stated in the budget buttressed by improved tax buoyancy expected next year. The 137% increase in healthcare spending takes care of both the preventive and curative sides and is indeed an accurate representation.
Borrowing from the government’s template used in response to the Asian Financial Crisis, the government has laid stress on implementing structural reforms to overcome the current crisis so that the supply potential of the economy can be expanded. This would keep inflation under control when the uptick in demand materialises, elucidated the CEA.
Complimenting the Government for presenting a growth-centric budget, Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, highlighted that the pump-priming of the economy without imposing any additional taxes is laudable. In addition, the focus on building infrastructure which will in turn create jobs and livelihoods will give impetus to India’s developmental journey.