Budget is a high point in policy direction: Jaitley

Published - February 01, 2019 10:27 pm IST - New Delhi

Arun Jaitley. File photo: Kamal Narang

Arun Jaitley. File photo: Kamal Narang

The average fiscal deficit in the past five years has fallen to 3.7% compared with the 5.3% during UPA-II’s tenure, Union Minister Arun Jaitley wrote in a blog on Friday. He went on to praise the Budget as a “high point in the policy direction” given by this government.

“The average fiscal deficit in the past five years has fallen from UPA 2’s figure of 5.3% to 3.7%,” Mr Jaitley wrote. “We will close a five-year period by a figure of 3.4%. We would ordinarily have maintained a target of 3.3% but have a major announcement involving extra expenditure being made in the current Budget.”

Regarding the current account deficit, he said that it had fallen to an average of 1.5% during the term of this government from an average of 3.3% in the UPA-II term. “Similarly, external debt to GDP has fallen from 23.9% to 20.5% till March, 2018,” he said. “Foreign exchange reserves are comfortable at $396 billion and touched an all-time high of $ 425 billion. It is, therefore, obvious that India is being hailed as a bright spot in the global economy.”

“The interim Budget presented by Shri Piyush Goyal today marks a high point in the policy directions that the Government headed by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given to this nation,” Mr. Jaitley added.

“The political thrust of the past five years both through budgetary outlays, tax policy and legislative and administrative steps have been to create a Government which is decisive, compassionate and clean,” he said. “The economic reforms undertaken have unshackled Indian economy, unleashed its potential and made us a global leader in growth.”

Regarding the future vision as presented by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal to make India a $5 trillion economy, Mr Jaitley said that India is on track to achieve this by the middle of the next decade.

On the controversy on employment data, Mr. Jaitley said, “If there is no job creation, as alleged, there should have logically been a great social unrest in the country. Past five years have passed off without a single major protest movement.”

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