‘Transformative’ budget focuses on structural reforms: Economic Affairs (Secretary)

New Delhi, Feb.29 (ANI): Economic Affairs (Secretary) Shaktikanta Das said on Monday the ‘transformative and credible’ General Budget for 2016-17 has given a lot of focus on structural reforms, adding the country needs to work on the pace of reforms if it has to achieve the GDP growth rate of eight percent plus in the coming years.

“Overall, if I have to describe the budget it’s a transformative and a credible budget. The budget has given a lot of focus on structural reforms. We need to continue with the pace of reforms if we have to go back to eight percent plus in the next few years,” Das told a press conference here.

Das highlighted that while maintaining the fiscal deficit target for next year at 3.5 percent, the Finance Ministry did take into consideration issues concerning the market.

“While maintaining the fiscal deficit target for next year at 3.5 percent, we have also ensured that government borrowing requirement from the market is kept at a minimal level of Rs. 4.2 lakh crores. While deciding this number and while working on the fiscal deficit target, we have taken into consideration the issues of debt sustainability, medium term and long term debt sustainability of the government, the space that is available in the market for government borrowing so that we leave adequate resources for the private sector, and the emphasis and the necessity to ensure that government borrowings are done in a very non-disruptive manner without taking away lot of resources from the market,” he said.

The Economic Affairs Secretary said the second aspect of the budget to be noted was that it had taken a very balanced approach.

“It has focused on key challenges and main problems which the macro economy today faces,” he said.

“The third aspect I would like to highlight is the structural reform measures. The first and the foremost are the reforms in the transport sector in the passenger sector. The entire system is being opened up and there is room available for improving the quality of transport for the public, the road transport for the public, bring in new efficiencies, create new jobs and increase the overall efficiency of the transport sector. Targeted disbursement of subsidy by way off the AADHAR legislation is a game changer and it will prevent lot of leakage and what I may call the transmission loss which takes place while the government subsidies and benefits are transmitted to the people who actually deserve it,” he added.

Earlier today, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while presenting the Budget for the next fiscal in the Parliament, listed out the nine priority areas for the government: farmer welfare, rural sector, social sector, education skills, infrastructure, financial reforms, ease of doing business, fiscal discipline and tax reform that will transform the country. (ANI)

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