Budget to be more transparent; no deficit cover-ups: Jaitley

20 January 2015

Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said that the government is working on rationalisation of the tax structure and is also making attempts to make budgetary proposals more transparent to ensure there is no ''concealed'' fiscal deficit.

In an interactive session with the members of the Confederation of Indian Industry in Chennai, Jaitley said, ''The government is working on transparent budgetary proposals and we have no idea of presenting any concealed fiscal deficit.''

The remark is in the context of the practice of rolling over substantial parts of committed oil, fertiliser and food subsidy payments in recent years by the UPA government.

According to Jaitley, the current public-private partnership model is not serving the purpose. ''We need to revive this and we are working on the same. The government sees both opportunities and challenges, given the current fiscal deficit constraint. We are taking steps to see that investments not only pour from foreign, private but also from public. In the coming months the focus will be on more investments, manufacturing and infrastructure,'' he added.

By cutting down the number of centrally sponsored schemes, states have more money in their hands to design and spend their own welfare schemes, he said.

On housing and road infrastructure spending, Jaitley said, ''We are looking at improving tier-II and III cities with necessary road infrastructure and industrial corridors so that farmers can benefit. The government is also fully committed to develop affordable housing and is working at reviving both these sectors in a big way.''

(Also see: Subsidies to be rationalised with more direct transfers: Jaitley)

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