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Posted at: Jul 11, 2019, 7:41 AM; last updated: Jul 11, 2019, 7:41 AM (IST)

Firm on fiscal consolidation: FM

Says won’t compromise on public expenditure
Firm on fiscal consolidation: FM
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaks in the Lok Sabha during the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 10 

The government is committed to the path of fiscal consolidation without compromising on public expenditure, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha today.

She said several steps, including enhancing investments in infrastructure, liberalisation in the foreign direct investment policy and lowering of corporate tax, are being taken to make India a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25 as stated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The minister was replying to a general discussion on the Union Budget 2019-20.

Sitharaman did not comment on the hike in petrol and diesel cess proposed in the Budget.

“The government is committed to the path of fiscal consolidation without compromising on the public expenditure placed by the various sectors,” she said.

The minister said the fiscal deficit in the regular Budget for 2019-20 has been pegged at 3.3% of the GDP as against 3.4% proposed in the Interim Budget presented in the House in February.

Sitharaman further said all the data mentioned in the Budget is authentic.

“I will assure the House there is no need for any speculation on figures given in Budget and every number is authentic,” she said.

The minister said that economic growth and national security would be the focus of the government.

She said support amount for all schemes which have implications for common man has been increased. “We will move GST Council to reduce the GST rate on e-vehicles from 12% to 5%,” she said.

The minister said the government's intention is to push infrastructure development and invest over Rs 100 lakh crore in the next five years.

Referring to questions raised on discrepancies of data between the Budget and the Economic Survey, she said the Budget has taken into account 12% growth in nominal GDP.

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