Economic Growth Is Main Focus, Budget 2023 Kept In Mind Fiscal Consolidation: Nirmala Sitharaman

Edited By: Mohammad Haris

Last Updated: February 04, 2023, 21:58 IST

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2023 on Wednesday. (Reuters Photo)

Nirmala Sitharaman says it has been the express desire of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give due focus on public capital expenditure, growth recovery to be retained

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said growth is the main focus, and the government wants to sustain recovery and its pace which has kept India at a good growth level, the credit goes to the people of India. On the Budget 2023, she said fiscal consolidation has been kept in mind and also serviced, and both growth and fiscal consolidation have been well-established in the Budget.

Sitharaman was having a post-Budget stakeholder interaction in Mumbai with the industry, trade, bankers, and large taxpayers.

“Since the last few years, under the guidance of the Prime Minister, we have set in motion a new practice, where @FinMinIndia team goes around the country and explain Budget to people… This outreach practice on Budget has helped us in recent years, in finetuning the provisions of the Budget based on stakeholder feedback,” Sitharaman said in her keynote address on Saturday.

The finance minister said it has been the express desire of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give due focus on public capital expenditure, growth recovery to be retained.

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During the post-Budget interaction, Finance Secretary T V Somanathan said planning for enhanced central capital expenditure is underway, and all concerned ministries will be ready to spend from April 1, 2023. “Guidelines for enhanced state capital expenditure of Rs 1.3 lakh crore have been issued, states have been informed of their entitlements.”

He added that guidelines for the scheme for refund of 95 per cent of forfeited amounts under the Vivad Se Vishwas are expected to be issued next week, it will include a system by which MSMEs will apply through the GeM India portal.

DIPAM Secretay Tuhin Kanta Pandey, present at the event, said “Almost all disinvestment projects approved by the Cabinet are in pipeline, we are going ahead with all targets. Disinvestment is a complex process, issues such as management control need to be addressed; when state and centre work together, the process is expedited.”

Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra said the government is working to quickly facilitate GST refunds to foreigners. He added that studies by CBIC over 15 years show no correlation between increased customs duties and smuggling. “We don’t think increased duties will result in increased smuggling,” he said while responding to a question on the gems and jewellery sector.

Chief Economic Advisor V Anantha Nageswaran said, “The Economic Survey points that the MSME sector has held up reasonably well in wake of #COVID19, bulk of new taxpayers in GST system are micro and small enterprises, so formalisation of micro enterprises has been happening quite fast in last few years.”

He added that the Budget 2023 provides that suppliers will have to receive payments before buyers can claim tax deduction against expenditure they owe to MSME suppliers, this is a very transformative step.

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The Budget 2023-24 was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Wednesday, February 1. The Budget provided ease in the income tax slabs and rates to individual taxpayers, apart from pushing capital expenditure while maintaining fiscal prudence.

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