Govt managed economy meticulously despite unprecedented challenges posed by global pandemic: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said the Narendra Modi Government has managed the economy meticulously, despite the unprecedented challenges posed by the global pandemic.
She was replying to the marathon discussion on the Union Budget in the Lok Sabha last evening. Ms Sitharaman said, during the 2008-09 global financial crisis, Indian economy suffered a contraction in the GDP growth leading to a loss of 2.21 lakh crore rupees, but the Consumer Price Index (CPI) had been 9.1 percent.
In contrast, she said during 2020-21, the Indian economy met with a negative growth of minus 6.6 percent, leading to a loss of 9.57 lakh crore rupees. However, she highlighted that the CPI has been maintained at only 6.2 percent during the period.
The Minister said, the inflation during the UPA-1 and UPA-2 were in double digits, terming the period as the Andh Kaal, or the dark times. She added, the next 25-years would be the Amrit Kaal.
Referring to the projection in economic growth of India as against the world, Ms Sitharaman said India will be the fastest growing economy. She said in 2022, the projected growth is 9 per cent and in 2023, it will be 7.1 per cent.
On the Mahatma Gandhi National rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the Finance Minister said it is a demand-driven programme, adding, whenever there is more demand, there would be more allocation of funds.
Ms Sitharaman clarified that the sharing of revenues with the states is on the increase. The minister said the allocation for agriculture has been increased by 6.6 times in this year’s budget as compared to the figure in 2013-14.
Terming the MSME as the backbone of the country’s manufacturing sector, Ms Sitharaman said 20,000 crore rupees has been allocated for it in this year’s budget. She said, under the Emergency Credit Liquidity Guarantee Scheme, 3.10 lakh crore rupees of loans have been sanctioned to the MSME’s.
Refuting the allegations that the allocation for health has been slashed, the Finance Minister said a provision of 86,609 crore rupees have been made for the sector.
Coming down heavily on the criticism that she is not an elected member of the Parliament, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman said she indeed is an elected member of the Rajya Sabha. She also said all the members of both the Houses of Parliament hold equally responsible position.