NEW DELHI: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said that we have controlled the inflation better than the previous government and never let it touch the double-digit. The minister while addressing the media post-budget mentioned that the inflation was most of the time in the double-digit before 2014. “India’s retail inflation never breached 6.3% in the past seven years.
Also, our government takes quick actions in case of high inflation. Recently, when there was a problem with edible oil, we reduced the duty on it. Whenever there is inflation on edible perishable commodities we import it,” said Sitharaman.
On the jobs creation, the finance minister said all the infrastructure projects and the production linked incentives in the 14 sectors are going to generate a lot of jobs in the future. In the last two years, the entire world faced job cuts due to the pandemic, but we took several decisions including the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECGS) that saved the jobs, said Sitharaman.
The ECLGS extended up to March 2023 and its guarantee cover will be expanded by Rs 50,000 crore to a total cover of Rs 5 lakh crore. The additional amount being earmarked exclusively for hospitality and related enterprises.
The FM refused to call cryptocurrency as digital currency. She said what Reserve Bank of India is going to issue will be a digital currency. Everything that prevails outside of it is an individual’s asset, created by individuals. “The profits are being made in transacting the individual assets, we are taxing that profit,” said Sitharaman.
The minister in her budget speech announced a 30% tax on any income from the transfer of virtual digital assets and 1 % levied on payments made on transfer of digital assets. When asked no relaxation in the taxes for the middle class, Sitharaman highlighted that she had not increased the tax at all in the past two budgets.
The finance minister avoided speaking on disinvestment or privatization of two state-run banks and LIC (Life Insurance Company) announced in the budget 2021-22. “This budget in every aspect is a continuation of the last budget, including privatization matter. We are continuing that agenda,” she said.
The minister also mentioned that NPA (Non-performing asset) has come down drastically in the last few years. Today, banks are getting money from those who fled the country. The money coming back to the banks, in a way, is a black money.
Petrol not blended with ethanol will get expensive from October, the minister said the government wants to encourage blended fuel and that is simple messaging. She highlighted several initiatives taken by the government to double the farmers’ incomes. The minister noted that the urea subsidy has been raised by 7% to Rs 67,186.78 crore against Rs 62,786.28 crore in FY22 (BE).
‘RBI to issue digital currency, not crypto’
The Finance Minister refused to call cryptocurrency as digital currency. She said what Reserve Bank of India is going to issue will be a digital currency. Everything that prevails outside of it is an individual’s asset, created by individuals. “The profits are being made in transacting the individual assets, we are taxing that profit,” the finance minister told reporters after the budget.