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IBLA 2019: Finance minister Arun Jaitley hints interim budget could be bigger than a vote on account

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IBLA 2019: Finance minister Arun Jaitley hints interim budget could be bigger than a vote on account

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Finance minister Arun Jaitley said the larger interest of the economy always dictates what goes into the interim budget, including addressing some of the challenges, hinting that the government could break convention and make the February 1 exercise more significant than a vote on account.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley said the larger interest of the economy always dictates what goes into the interim budget, including addressing some of the challenges, hinting that 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 and ordinarily there should be no reason why we should move away from that convention. 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," Jaitley said at the CNBC-TV18 Indian Business Leader Awards on Thursday.
Jaitley spoke via videoconference from New York.
Jaitley said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had been in this game for far too long to have nervousness about the budget, and was confident and proud of its performance.
However, the finance minister admitted, there were still some things that remained a concern. He said that 7-7.5 percent growth rate will not suffice and the 8 percent barrier would have to be crossed.
He said annual savings from Aadhaar can fund many schemes and it has helped the government to dispense wasteful schemes.
Talking on monetary policy and Urjit Patel episode, he said RBI and government have always been in extensive consultations and both did have two conflicting, diverse viewpoints in an earlier situation, but each acts within the constraints of their domain.
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.
Jaitley said he had a lot to be satisfied with over the last five years with the government's achievement.
"The NDA government had succeeded in restoring the credibility of the economy and its decision making process over last few years, he added.
Referring to talks about relief package for farmers, Jaitley said that this sector has been facing challenges, and the markets will tend to understand if approach is rational and not populist.
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