Modi government has made the budget a means of equitable distribution in the last decade: Sitharaman

The Uncut

New Delhi. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday that the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has changed the format of the Union Budget in the last 10 years. Earlier it was only an account of expenditure but the Modi government has transformed it into a strategic blueprint for equitable distribution among the people.

The Finance Minister also stressed that the pace of reforms will continue to make India a developed nation. She said that the government will continue to maximize the value and impact of the hard-earned money of taxpayers to ensure its best use to benefit all. Sitaranam said that the Modi government has prioritized transparency in its budget practices and figures. Countries with transparent budgets are often viewed more favorably by international bodies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. This can improve global trust.

Sitharaman wrote in a series of posts on the social media platform ‘X’, “This is in stark contrast to the repeated practice of the Congress-led UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government to hide the deficit through ‘off-budget’ borrowing and issuing ‘oil bonds’, which to some extent transferred the fiscal burden to future generations. Under the UPA, standard fiscal practices were regularly changed to make the budget figures look favorable. ” She said that the credibility of the Union Budget has seen a significant improvement in the last decade, leaving behind old obstacles and practices.

Sitharaman said, “Our government has transformed the budget from a mere record of expenditure to a strategic blueprint for equitable development. We make judicious and correct use of every rupee collected from our taxpayers…presenting a transparent picture of public finances.” The minister said the government has undertaken several reforms to strengthen and bring transparency in the budgetary process and practices.

She said that from the financial year 2017-18, the budget started being presented on February 1. This effectively moved the expenditure cycle forward by two months. Earlier, the budget was presented on February 28. Sitharaman said that the improvement in government expenditure by bringing in ‘Treasury Single Account’ (TSA) for “timely” release of funds to autonomous bodies has reduced the cost of borrowing for the Center.

He said, “More than Rs 15,000 crore has been saved so far due to TSA.” Sitharaman said that the central government operates 108 centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) through the state and union territory governments, whose budget is about Rs 5.01 lakh crore for the financial year 2024-25. It was Rs 4.76 lakh crore for the financial year 2023-24.

Further, he said that the Union Budget under the Modi government is characterised by fiscal prudence, transparency and inclusiveness, which ensures investment in social development and infrastructure. The minister said that the Modi government is committed to using cutting-edge technology, increasing transparency and pursuing ongoing reforms to lay a strong foundation for a developed India. He said, “We will continue to maximise the value and impact of the hard-earned money of taxpayers, ensuring that it is put to the best possible use for the benefit of all.”

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