Union Budget 2022: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is all set to present her third budget in a week. The much-awaited Union Budget 2022-23 is going to be tabled by the minister before the Parliament on February 1, which is exactly one week away. During this time, it is to be seen that how the finance minister and her department comes together to enable the pandemic-hit country achieve a better economic condition. Sitharaman and her team have been working on drafting new measures for accelerating financial growth without creating fiscal deficits. This year, as India struggles with the pandemic, a significant amount of allotment is expected for the healthcare sector.
Apart from Nirmala Sitharaman, the Budget is heavily dependent on her A-team. Sitharaman’s team, comprising five high profile officials — TV Somanatham Tarun Bajaj, Debashish Panda, Ajay Seth and Tuhin Kanta Pandey — has a key role in deciding how the amount during each fiscal is allocated to different sectors.
Let us Know About Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman‘s Team that has a Key Role in Designing the Budget:
TV Somanathan: The 1987 IAS officer from the Tamil Nadu cadre previously served as a joint secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office in 2015. He is the seniormost official among the five, being designated as the finance secretary, and has been pushing ministries to spend more on of their capital expenditure to ensure growth amid the pandemic-accelerated economic strains in the country. It is to be seen how Somanathan figures out how the capital expenditure will be spent this fiscal after Union Budget 2022.
Tarun Bajaj: Revenue secretary of the finance ministry, Tarun Bajaj is another recruit from the Prime Minister’s Office. His role in the finance ministry is to ensure realistic tax targets and this year, he plans to exceed tax collections. Bajaj played a key role in facilitating healthcare packages during the pandemic. During the Budget 2022, he is expected to ease tax compliances and announce packages for pandemic-hit businesses and sectors.
Ajay Seth: Ajay Seth was the managing director of Bangalore Metro before joining as the economic affairs secretary in April 2021. The rather shy bureaucrat is in charge of drafting all the Budget speeches of Sitharaman, with Somanathan by his side. His department is also the main department for capital market, investment, and infra-related policies. He is expected to allocate large amounts in big projects to bring in revenues and create jobs.
Debashish Panda: Also a 1987 batch IAS officer, Debashish Panda plays a key role in the revival of public sector offices, as the Department of Financial Services head. Thanks to him, banks have performed well despite the pandemic, and Panda is expected to facilitate this during the Budget.
Tuhin Kanta Pandey: This year, the government might not meet its disinvestment targets, but Tuhin Kanta Pandey has played the key role in the disinvestment of Air India. He has several more projects lined up this year after Budget 2022, with the LIC IPO being a major disinvestment target.
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