A number of non-legislative decisions covering customs, excise, service tax, insurance and banking to promote growth will be announced in Parliament before the passage of the Finance Bill.
Disclosing this in Delhi on Sunday, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said that the budget presented by him on February 28 focussed on the legislative areas and the broad agenda. The government was now working on non-legislative decisions.
These decisions would involve customs, excise, service tax, insurance and banking, he said, adding “more announcements will be made and more decisions will be taken” during the reply to the debate in Parliament on the Finance Bill.
During a comprehensive post-budget interview, Mr. Chidambaram told PTI that he was satisfied with what he had done in the budget with a view to restart the growth engine.
“My party appears to be happy. The opposition, of course, would have to be critical. That is the role of the opposition to expose, oppose and depose as it is said.
“I am not perturbed by the criticism. The media, as usual, magnifies certain things and ignores certain other things. So that is part education, part entertainment. It has been a mixed bag of emotions to see the reactions,” he said.
Laughing off a question about the absence of any ‘big bang’ announcements in the budget, the Finance Minister said, “Big bang interests only the media. What the people want is small, critical steps that will restart the growth engine.”
In his view, “the media likes frenzy, the media likes theatre” but people like orderly growth and orderly lives.
Ruling out any “populist” measures between now and the Lok Sabha polls due before May, 2014, Mr. Chidambaram pointed out that a government can present only five budgets and the UPA had presented its fifth one. There will be a vote on account next February and then there will be elections.