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'Committed to fiscal consolidation, agriculture major focus of budget': FM Sitharaman

By Vishal S
Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, July 10: Asserting that India topped the charts in production of several agricultural products since 2014, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her reply to budget debate in Parliament, on Wednesday said the Centre has adopted comprehensive solutions for agriculture concerns

He speech was interrupted several times by the opposition leaders. Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary alleged that the minister was misleading the house. Sitharaman urged them to allow her to complete the speech and said they should consider only the official numbers given by the government.

File photo of Nirmala Sitharaman

"The growth rate of nominal GDP has been projected at 12 per cent in the Union Budget 2019-20, whereas the growth rate of nominal GDP in the Economic Survey was projected at 11 per cent. As compared to the Economic Survey, the one projected in the Budget is on a lower GDP base because the Interim Budget also used the same lower GDP base which ensures comparability between the Interim and regular," Sitharaman said, rubbishing the allegations of mismatch between the numbers given by the Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) during the Economic Survey and by her in her budget speech.

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The Finance Minister further said that measures taken by the BJP-led government have made a difference to the farmers in compliance with the Swaminathan committee.

"Against what people like to believe that the Budget does not focus on the agriculture sector, I'd like to put the record straight, this year's Budget focuses majorly on agriculture. We have adopted comprehensive solutions for agriculture concerns as our Government realised the agriculture sector needs huge transformation by 2022, we are looking at doubling farmers' income," she added.

Sitharaman said the government is committed to fiscal consolidation and has a proper plan to make Indian economy a USD 5 Trillion economy.

"In order to achieve the USD 5 Trillion economy target, we spoke of effectively, 1. bringing investment into the economy, 2. for generating jobs, 3. towards manufacturing within India which are steps to ensure investment is drawn into the country," she said in Parliament.

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"Inflation management, from when we took charge has come down to 3 per cent. Whereas, talking about food inflation, the figures are even worse, which the Opposition will not want to hear because the Consumer Price Index for food inflation was pegged at 6.4% in 2014-15 whereas, as of March 2019, it stands at 0.3%." Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman added.

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