New Delhi, Feb 1: Union Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman on Thursday said that Governance, Development and Performance is the new ‘GDP’ formula that the government has adopted to steer the country to a ‘Viksit Bharat’ (Developed India).
Addressing a post-budget press conference, the Finance Minister said that the Governance was evident in the way that the government had managed and steered the economy and the Development was reflected in the better standard of living of the people with average income having gone up by 50 per cent.
The Performance of the government could also be seen in the fact that the economy had been growing at over 7 per cent for three consecutive years and inflation in the country had come down. She also highlighted the fact that the government had cleaned up the banking system which was earlier carrying a huge burden of non-performance assets or bad loans that had led to losses.
She pointed out that the government had succeeded through proper management of its finances to bring down the fiscal deficit to 5.8 per cent of GDP which was even lower than the targeted level of 5.9 per cent for 2023-24. Now with the fiscal deficit target having been fixed at 5.1 per cent the country was well on its way to achieve the glide path of a fiscal deficit at 4.5 per cent of GDP by 2025-26.
She pointed out that the allocation of Rs 11.11 lakh crore for capital expenditure on big infrastructure projects has gone up 11 per cent on a high base and the private sector was also stepping up investment which would lead to an acceleration in the country’s economic growth.
She also said that the budget-making process has been made completely transparent as all the figures pertaining to the economy were being released on a monthly basis.
She also highlighted that Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) had emerged as factor of production that was contributing to the efficiency of the economy and leading to a higher growth.
Sitharaman further said that the government would be coming out with a White Paper on the performance of the economy in the last 10 years and its comparison with the country’s economic performance with the 10 years before that.
In answer to a question, the Finance Minister said that the rating agencies should take on board that the fiscal consolidation that had been achieved was even been better than the prudence level that was targeted.