Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said that Budget 2020 has laid the foundation for increasing consumption and building assets to push India towards its goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy.
"I think we have laid the foundation for increasing consumption, ensuring government's investment goes towards asset-building. This is sure to have a cascading effect, both in the short term and in the long term.
"And with that, the virtuous cycle of triggering the economy to perform and move forward will be happening, that is the basis on which majority of government expenditure is going towards infrastructure construction," Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters in Ahmedabad.
The Finance Minister said that the budget has announced 16 focus points to address "any kind of rural distress".
At the press conference, Nirmala Sitharaman dismissed a query on whether the proposed Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Life Insurance Corporation could affect safety of public money.
She said the IPO was being floated for the general public to become shareholders.
"Why should it have any connection with whether it is safe for public money? It is India, it's our citizens who are probably going to take a certain percentage of what the government is holding. There is a regulatory body. All of us are going to be more transparent and disciplined about responding," she said.
Asked about a timeframe for merger of three nationalised general insurance companies, she said: "I have no time in my mind at the moment that I can answer."
The Finance Minister said the government was taking every possible measure to ensure liquidity does not become a problem for the industry.
"Lending and lending for retail borrowers , lending by banks, public sector and the private sector, are all issues I am closely monitoring. finance secretary Ais constantly engaging with banks," she said.