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Lok Sabha: FM Nirmala
Lok Sabha: FM Nirmala Sitharaman responds to the budget discussion

NEW DELHI. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman replies to the general discussion on the union budget; says govt is committed to the path of fiscal consolidation without cutting spending; Several steps are being taken to make India a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2024-25 such as enhancing investments in infrastructure, liberalisation in the foreign direct investment policy and lowering of corporate tax.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman responded to the budget discussion which lasted for two days in Lok Sabha. She made it clear that the Government is committed to pursuing fiscal consolidation without compromising on any public spending.

Sitharaman also said that the 2019-20 budget shows the Government's commitment to maintain the fiscal deficit within 3.3 percent of the GDP while increasing the expenditure for agriculture and social sectors, especially in fields of education and health.

Finance Minister also said that government is taking several steps to achieve the government's aim of making the country a five trillion dollar economy.

Talking about the government's commitment for the farmer's welfare, Finance Minister said that in the last five years, everything possible has been done for the welfare of the farmers. She said that the government is working to arrange funds to implement PM Samman Nidhi yojana.

The Finance Minister said that the Budget Estimates for the expenditure under the heads of Defence, Pension and Salary, National Security and Government Establishments are adequate and substantial. She also said that the government plans to accelerate development of infrastructure. For this government is planning to invest 100 lakh crore rupees over the next five years.

Nirmala Sitharaman said that Government is planning to introduce a 4 R strategy to tackle NPAs. She also said that government has drafted stricter laws to tackle the menace.

While Finance Minister was responding to the discussion on the Budget in Lok Sabha, the discussion began in Rajya Sabha too. The Upper Hosue could not take up the discussion on Tuesday as it was adjourned for the day because of ruckus by the opposition. On Wednesday too the discussion didn't get very far and the House had to be adjourned for the day.