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‘Larger Interest of the Economy Dictates What Goes into the Interim Budget’: Jaitley Defends NDA

‘Larger Interest of the Economy Dictates What Goes into the Interim Budget’: Jaitley Defends NDA

The government could break convention and make the February 1 exercise more significant than a vote on account

Mumbai: “The larger interest of the economy always dictates what goes into the interim budget,” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at the CNBC-TV18 Indian Business Leaders Awards.

Jaitley has hinted at the Awards that the interim budget could include a farm package that would help address some of the challenges facing the economy today.

The government could break convention and make the February 1 exercise more significant than a vote on account.

"The convention has always been that the election year budget normally is an interim budget,” said the Finance Minister, adding, “but then the larger interest of the economy always dictates what goes into the interim budget and that’s something which cannot be discussed or disclosed at this stage.”

Speaking from New York via the web, Jaitley strengthened the government’s position by discarding any symptoms of nervousness about the budget and its performance.

"The NDA government had succeeded in restoring the credibility of the economy and its decision-making process over last few years,” he said.

Although he admitted that a 7-7.5 percent growth rate will not suffice and the 8 percent barrier would have to be crossed, annual savings from Aadhaar, he did not fail to highlight, can fund many schemes and help dispense wasteful schemes.

Talking on monetary policy and the Urjit Patel episode, Jaitley said RBI and government act within the constraints of their domain. However, both bodies have always been in extensive consultations, despite conflicting, diverse viewpoints.

But, Jaitley refrained from expressing any views on any rate cut and said that he will not fault the RBI or government for not having consultations.

The finance minister said he can't have a real rate of interest that's higher than anywhere else in the world.