Need For Financial Sector Reforms: Opposition In Lok Sabha
Indian two thousand and five hundred rupee banknotes are arranged for a photograph in Mumbai, India (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Need For Financial Sector Reforms: Opposition In Lok Sabha

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The Opposition in Lok Sabha on Monday expressed concern over the "decline" in investment in the country and said the expected gross domestic product growth rate and tax collection figures appear unrealistic.

Participating in the discussion on the Union Budget 2020-21, Biju Janata Dal member B Mahtab said that investment in India has been the main driver of growth, but it has been declining since 1991.

"We are measuring GDP growth. More the investment, the growth would be faster and quicker," he said.

In this Budget, he said, adequate corrective measures are necessary. The banks were not in a position to lend for infrastructure, Mahtab said, adding that government should not lose sight of wider reforms in the public sector. "There is a need to bring competition within the banking sector," he said.

Nationalist Congress Party 's Supriya Sule termed the budget as "long and tiresome" and attacked the government saying "they are living in a fairy-tale world". The Budget, she said, exposed the failure "of this government when it comes to fiscal health".

She said while the government is talking about achieving $5 trillion economy, "we are not even barely crossing five percent."

She said that the government was talking about bullet train but the fact was not even a single acre of land was acquired for the same. She was also of the view that there was a need for a revival of economy and promotion of private sector investment.

Expressing apprehension over the Budget numbers, Preneet Kaur (of Indian National Congress) said presumption of 10 percent nominal GDP growth and 12 percent rise in tax collection seem "optimist and unrealistic given the low economic growth and falling exports". Agriculture sector seems to be an area of concern, she said, adding, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana needs to be reviewed.

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For the benefit of farmers, he said, the premium needs to be shared by both the Centre and the state. Observing that Indian growth story is at crossroads, Kaur said that cautious pragmatism has crept in and the country has fallen in middle-income trap.

However, BJhartiya Janata Party MP Aparajita Sarangi said there is a balance between intent and content, and vision and provision in the Budget.

"We have moved from policy paralysis to policy action under the Narendra Modi government," she said. The focus is on growth and the Budget will strengthen the foundation of Indian economy in the new decade, she said.

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The Budget promotes six major sectors against the backdrop of current economic scenario, she said, adding it will help facilitate investment, spur consumption while giving a push to infrastructure and fillip to agriculture sector.

Observing that the this is an age of technology, Sarangi said the Budget has recognised this and made several announcements in this regard. The technology will help ease living condition of people, she added.

Rubbishing the opposition claim of reduction in rural Budget, she said the government has always pitched in when there was a need in the past. On spurring investment, Sarangi said the Budget announcement of abolishing Dividend Distribution Tax will free up about Rs 25,000 crore for the corporates.

Besides, National Infrastructure Pipeline will promote investment in the infrastructure building.

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