National

Jaitley: Subsidies will leave next generation in debt

A reduction of the scope of subsidies currently being provided to the well-off appears to be on the anvil with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley questioning the justification of giving “unquantified” subsidy to “unidentifiable” sections.

However, he maintained that some element of subsidy will have to remain for a large section of people, who are entitled to it since the country has several poor people who need state support.

“Yesterday I had said why should people like you and me get an LPG subsidy and look at the kind of burden it is having on the budget. We have started living with the deficit budget. We just make sure that our fiscal deficit is not beyond a particular point,” he said at an interaction with PTI journalists at the agency’s headquarters here.

Under the current dispensation, the Minister said the government targets a specific number for deficit and in turn borrows from the market to fund current expenditure. “You cannot have a subsidy, an unquantified amount given to an unidentified section of people. So subsidy must be a quantified amount given to an identifiable section,” he said, adding “the duplication of subsidy benefits results in losses to the exchequer to the tune of thousands of crores.”

“We will leave the next generation in debt so that they [next generation] levy higher taxes to pay back the loan of subsidising me, when I am not entitled to the subsidy. So this kind of an economy will keep the country in a trap,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 10:49:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/jaitley-subsidies-will-leave-next-generation-in-debt/article6627634.ece

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