The spending proposed in the Union Budget is being done with a clear picture of asset creation, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told members of corporate India at an event organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in New Delhi. Ms Sitharaman added that the government is taking most fiscally prudent route despite wide expectations that the government would pump-prime the economy.
"The attempt is to show that we have had complete thinking-through and are taking the most fiscally prudent route. In today's situation, people may want the government to 'pump-prime' the economy," Ms Sitharaman said.
"We are willing to spend if we have to. But we will not repeat past mistakes of splurging. We are spending now with a clear picture of asset creation," the Finance Minister said.
Ms Sitharaman also said that money being spent in the Budget is for asset creation. "We are putting money where assets will be created; when government is putting money into infrastructure, it would have a cascading effect. The money garnered from the divestment target would not go into a revenue expenditure item, but would create infrastructure for the economy and this would have a multiplier effect," Ms Sitharaman said.
The Budget has not given anything sector-specific, but has given a macro picture of the economy, she said.
"Although Budget has not given anything sector specific, it gives blueprint of how we want to take economy forward. The Budget was also about whether we are being fiscally responsible or not," Ms Sitharman said.
Reiterating the government's faith in tax payers, Ms Sitharaman said the Budget has unveiled a taxpayer's charter.
"We trust the tax payers / assesses, and the tax authorities have to be more objective -- therefore, we are relying on technology to bring about faceless assessment. We have also unveiled a taxpayer's charter," Ms Sitharaman added.