Sitharaman rejects 'selling family silver' charge through disinvestment, says budget about faith and trust
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Sunday that the budget she presented this year is one of a directional change and about faith and trust.
"This is a budget of directional change, a change in mindsets, and about faith and trust," she said at the "Sarvasparshi Arthasankalp 2021" event in Mumbai in which she interacted with business leaders.
"The country's GST revenues have grown in the last three months. Also, we have been able to plug leakages with the help from technology," the finance minister added.
Talking about the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, Sitharaman said that India found a way to survive "even when developed countries are struggling".
She also rejected the opposition's charge of "selling family silver" while speaking about the disinvestment plan of the government. She said that the government wants few public sector enterprises in specified sectors to do well "so that we can ensure that taxpayers' money is spent wisely".
"It is not what the Opposition says about selling family silver, it's not at all," Sitharaman said. "Family silver should be strengthened, it should be our takat (strength)... Because you've spread it so thinly, there are many of them (PSUs) that are not able to survive; and the few that can perform do not get the due attention," she added.
"India's aspirations and development needs require 20 institutions of SBI size," said the finance minister.
Sitharaman presented the Union Budget last week in which she presented the government's roadmap to help the country's Covid-19 devastated economy recover. She proposed increasing the budgetary outlay for health and well-being to over ₹2.23 lakh crore in the financial year beginning April 1 from an estimated allocation of around ₹94,000 crore in the current fiscal.
The government has also allocated ₹35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccination programme, which the Union health ministry said is the third-biggest in the world, adding the finance minister made it clear that the Centre will provide more fund if required.