With Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presenting the Union Budget 2020-21 in the Lok Sabha, Union Minister Piyush Goyal praised the budget and stated that those who understand economics will take this budget as a balanced budget.
In an exclusive interaction with Republic TV's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, the Union Rail Minister stated that the stock markets will revive once they realize the 'fine print' of the budget.
"Markets will take a little more time to understand the fine print of the budget. This is a budget that promotes the domestic industry, gives a boost to startups, encourages more liquidity in the system. This is a budget that will promote investments in a big way. Markets will rebound. Overall, this is a budget for the new India, which prepares India with a strong fiscally prudent framework."
Reacting to the government announcing 100% tax exemptions to foreign sovereign funds, Union Minister Goyal spoke about how sovereign wealth funds come in with large projects.
"The sovereign wealth funds come in for hardcore infrastructural projects or long term manufacturing projects so when the UAE or Singaporian sovereign funds come in, they usually come in in large projects. Countries are looking for a reasonable rate of return in the long term."
While talking about the proposed disinvestment of LIC, Goyal said, "This government has a mantra that, ' the government has no business to be in business.' It is not time that we as a nation, get out of the mindset that everything has to be done by the government. Getting LIC to list with an IPO is a great move for transparency and sharing the good value that LIC is creating with the people of India. This move was long-awaited, and it will help India in its growth story."
While delivering the budget, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a crucial announcement about the divestment of LIC. The government will sell a part of its holding in LIC through the initial public offer. According to her, this would ensure more financial discipline. Without revealing more details, she said, "The government proposes to sell a part of its holding in LIC through the initial public offer." Currently, the government owns a 100% stake in LIC, established in 1956. For the fiscal year 2020-21, the Centre has set a disinvestment target of Rs. 2.1 lakh crore.
Sitharaman commenced the budget speech by stressing that this was a budget to boost the income and enhance purchasing power. She noted that the fundamentals of the economy were strong, inflation had been contained, banks had been cleaned up and formalization of the economy had taken place during the NDA government’s first term in office. Moreover, she talked about the positive impact after the introduction of GST and paid homage to the late Arun Jaitley for his invaluable contribution.
Thereafter, she listed the success of government schemes such as PMAY, Ayushmann Bharat, financial inclusion, etc. After this, she dedicated her speech to elaborate on the three prominent themes of the budget- aspirational India, economic development and caring society.