Not Chasing TRPs With Big Bang Budget, Finance Minister to NDTV

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Not Chasing TRPs With Big Bang Budget, Finance Minister to NDTV

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at an exclusive interview with Barkha Dutt.

In an exclusive interview to NDTV, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said that he is not looking to increase TRPs with a big bang budget because management of the economy is a 365-day affair.

Here are the highlights from the interview:

  • Opposition was determined to not let the Rajya Sabha function come what may.
  • We have the largest coal reserves of the world, but still we could not mine due to faulty policies.
  • The intention of the opposition is not to debate conversions, the intention is to create a convergence to not let the Parliament function.
  • PM clarified Sadhvi remark but Opposition still disrupted house.
  • Coal Ordinance was needed in the interest of the economy.


On Land Ordinance:

  • We create world-class cities, but not have world-class educational and medical facilities, this may be the idea of Mr Jairam Ramesh, not mine.
  • Need land for housing, social infrastructure, public good.
  • Certainly would like to avoid a joint sitting of Parliament (to pass law on land acquisition).
  • Townships, dams don't get completed in 5 years - we've kept compensation provisions and rehabilitation & resettlement provisions where they were.
  • In a participatory democracy, people vote for a government or vote out a government; you can't create provisions that put the entire developmental agenda on hold.
  • We're a country where we have 'competitive federalism'.


On Oil Prices:

  • On oil prices: there is something seriously wrong with the Congress party's arithmetic.
  • Congress party's arithmetic of Rs 32 (for petrol prices) is like their election calculation, they rely on imaginary figures.
  • The oil price regulation is a very transparent process.
  • Government revenue from falling oil prices will fund public good; we've mostly passed on the benefits to the consumer.
  • The Congress party has left the economy in a bad shape.


On Budget:

  • I am not in the business of a 9 PM show that I will have a big bang budget and get the TRPs. Governance is a 365 day business.
  • A government who is working on governance 365 days a year, the budget is a one-day affair. Yet it is very important.
  • India must be in a hurry, only then the obstructionists can be put on the back foot.
  • We have done more reforms in 7 months that the UPA government did in its whole tenure.



On J&K Assembly Elections:

  • In such a scenario, there are two options, either you don't have a government, followed by governor's rule and then go to elections again, or, you find a solution to work around a hung government.
  • We almost swept the Jammu region. The part of the state has always felt neglected in the power structure of the state. We want development here as well.
  • BJP ideologically different from the PDP and the NC, very difficult for parties to give up their ideological positions.
  • In this kind of a format you have to speak to everyone. We're not happy with governor's rule, we want a popular government.
  • I hope parties involved in the process put their heads together.


On PK Controversy:

  • The government has made its position clear abundantly.
  • BJP hasn't participated in protests anywhere.
  • Don't disapprove creator or protestor's right to free speech but certainly disapprove violence.
  • If someone has a violent protest, the state governments must act 
  • People offended by a film can protest peacefully but not indulge in vandalism.


On Religious Conversions:

  • Let's have a national law which says how should voluntary conversion take place. The law has to be fundamental right compatible.
  • Reconversion is also a conversion - so you'll have to have the same standards for both.
  • RSS chief has said what he has before too, but media, opposition is just looking at controversies now.


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