Next Budget will have ”vibrancy” for sustainable economic recovery; momentum on infra spending to continue: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi: Assuring ” vibrancy” in her forthcoming Budget, Finance Minister Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman today said the Government would ensure that public spending on infrastructure development would be sustained even as the prospects of vaccine against Covid-19 have brought in additional confidence for revival of the economy.

Addressing the ASSOCHAM Foundation Week, the Finance Minister said while she cannot share clues about the Budget, ”the forthcoming Budget will have the vibrancy required for revival of the economy. This emphasis that the public spending on infrastructure has to be kept up, has been fully recognised.’’

She said , ” Something which will certainly feature; we shall definitely sustain the momentum on public spending on infrastructure because that is the one way, we are sure, that multipliers will work and the economy’s revival will be sustainable.. I will do everything that it takes to make sure that the Budget has these ( momentum on public spending on infrastructure) ”.

Mrs Sitharaman said the Government has stepped up the market borrowing programme to ensure that adequate funds are provided for infrastructure development and other stimulus programmes. As of November 30, Rs 9.05 lakh crore has been borrowed from the market which is 68 per cent more than the funds so raised in the comparable period of the previous fiscal.

She said, the government along with the Reserve Bank of India has given away stimulus and bail-outs worth Rs 30 lakh crore to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the economy, especially the poor sections of the society; MSMEs and the sectors which were affected the most.

The Finance Minister said , the disinvestment programme did suffer some delays because of the pandemic, but would gather momentum in the coming months. The disinvestment programmes which have been given the Cabinet approval would be taken up in all earnest, she said. Corporatisation of not only the DRDO labs but also banks where” I want them to run professionally… they should also be able to raise money from the market. Even that emphasis is being given”.

She said that the National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) is doing its best to attract funds from abroad and there has been a good response to the sovereign fund which has been extended the tax concessions.

“Indian economy has shown a greater resilience and expects a sharper growth trajectory in 2021.The positive GDP outlook forecasted is indicators of rebounding economy with fiscal measures that stimulated supply side of economics and pent-up demand from consumer beckoned demand impetus. The fundamental growth story of India remains optimistic with being one of the largest consumer markets of the world. The Government’s mission of a $5 Trillion economy with Atmanirbhar Bharat objective continues to attract global investment in backdrop of measures taken to improve ease of doing business and innovative policy reforms. The Government spending is expected to increase voluminously as it will lead to employment generation and multiplier effect on allied industries to scale up. We also expect the government to further rationalize individual taxation which acts a breather for consumers and helps the economy recuperate quickly, said Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, President, ASSOCHAM.

“The focus on strengthening the manufacturing sector along with supporting the MSME’s has to be the centrepiece of any course of action directed to make Atmanirbhar Bharat”, Mr. Vineet Agarwal, Sr. Vice President, ASSSOCHAM.

The upcoming 2020-21 Union Budget has the potential of being a “game changer” for the Indian economy. Under the current economic circumstances, I believe that the measures and policies to be announced in this budget should focus on the revival of the stressed sectors that were left out in the announcements made by the Government earlier, Shri Sajjan Jindal, Past President, ASSOCHAM & Chairman, JSW Group.

We look forward to an infrastructure-led growth strategy in Union Budget 2021-22. The central government would need to do the heavy lifting in terms of spending, at least initially. Private investments in infrastructure will surely materialize in due course once the state governments and local administrations do their bit by drawing up a pipeline of shovel-ready projects and easing the environment on the issuance of all clearances and approvals. We also look forward to measures to strengthen the NBFC sector as millions of entrepreneurs and MSMEs involved in infra activities depend on the infrastructure / asset financing NBFCs for their credit needs, Mr Sunil Kanoria, Past President, ASSOCHAM & Vice Chairman, SREI

Indian economy has displayed enormous resilience. We will soon grow in double digits. I am confident that we can achieve the goal of a $5 trillion economy with a single-minded focus on increasing domestic production. Natural resources can play a leading role in contributing to growth, jobs and Government revenue. Our geology is phenomenal and potential for increasing production is huge in oil, gas and mining with pragmatic government policies. I believe that disinvestment should be speeded up, instead of one or two companies a years, twenty companies a year including banks. The success of the telecom revolution can be replicated in power with privatization and digitization. The government has done a lot for ease of doing business. It should move to self-certification in as many sectors as possible. I compliment the PM for his vision and the FM for implementing reforms. In my view, nothing can stop India’s rise. At Vedanta, we are totally committed to being partners in this journey, Mr Anil Agarwal, Chairman, Vedanta Group.

The Govt. and the RBI undertook several initiatives to enable adequate liquidity and to support economic growth. Over the past few months, the retail credit enquiries have almost reached the pre-COVID levels. There has been a year-on-year growth in GST collections, Manufacturing PMI, and the Passenger Vehicles and Two-Wheeler sales. We hope this economic growth continues strongly and be more broad-based in the next year, Mr. Rakesh Singh, MD & CEO, Aditya Birla Finance Ltd.

Green shoots of recovery are clearly visible in multiple sectors and next year’s budget will be crucial for building upon the revival and recovery process started by the economic stimulus measures announced this year. Given the right policy push, India can emerge as one of the fastest growing economies in the post pandemic world. The energy sector was fortunate to see key reform measures being implemented by the government this year to improve the health of power distribution companies and the PLI scheme announced recently for solar modules and batteries will boost domestic manufacturing of these key components, Mr Sumant Sinha, Chairman & Managing Director, ReNew Power.

We all are confident that in today’s dynamic geo-political scenario, India has all the potential to play a more significant role in the world economy. We can reposition ourselves as a global manufacturing hub, supporting various global value chains and make Indian companies champion in many sectors like Automobile, Textiles, Capital Goods and Bio Tech amongst many sectors, said Mr Balkrishan Goenka, Immediate Past President, ASSOCHAM and Chairman, Welspun Group

Marking a 101 year legacy dedicated towards playing a pivotal role in the development of the Indian economy, the ASSOCHAM, in presence of Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, has released a report on the transformative road ahead which will help create a differentiated positioning for India, towards growth beyond overcoming the challenges presented by the pandemic.

The report prepared by ASSOCHAM in collaboration with Primus Partners, an India focused consulting firm, highlights the myriad and cross-sectoral initiatives undertaken by the Government of India towards mitigating the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in the country and the focus areas that will help drive growth in the coming times.

“The impact of COVID-19 has distressed economies across the globe, and as India strives for recovery it is important that the opportunities these extraordinary times have brought with them are duly focused and worked upon”, said Deepak Sood, Secretary General ASSOCHAM as suggested the need for greater support to certain areas identified as key to India’s growth.


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