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National News

Feb 17, 2020

Fiscal deficit will be reduced to 3.5 percent of GDP in 2020-21, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the most significant aspect of her budget this time is a realistic estimation on the score of revenue generation, spending and borrowings. She was addressing media persons in Bengaluru today after her interaction with stakeholders under the Jan Jan Ka Budget programme.

Invoking the escape clause to take a 50 basis points leeway, she noted that the fiscal deficit will be reduced to 3.5 percent of GDP in 2020-21. Exempting seasonal perishable commodities, she assured that the prices of other food products will be kept well within the acceptable norms.

On giving a boost to exports, she said that the Merchandise Exports from India scheme is replaced to allow reimbursement of duties on export inputs and Niryat Rin Vikas Yojana is introduced to enhance the insurance cover for small exports.

On incentives to Start-ups, the Finance Minister said that the budget has announced incentives for employees stock options called e-shops and will follow up with the Department of Promotion and Industry and Internal Trade and Inter-Ministerial Board to see further how the sector can be given boost.

It was said that the Government will act as a catalyst to attract over one lakh crore rupees from the bond market, FDI, foreign portfolio investors, state governments and banks.

The Minister also said that amendments proposed in the Vivaad Se Vishwas scheme for taxpayers will be tabled in the Parliament next month for bringing more clarity. On infusing confidence in the customers of cooperative banks, the Minister said that insurance cover on the deposits is enhanced and the cooperatives are now brought under the Banking Regulation Act.

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