New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stressed that the next annual budget of India must be carefully planned in order to maintain the country’s growth pace.
The finance minister was responding to a query about the coming year’s budget during her trip to Washington, DC to attend the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The conversation took place at the esteemed Brookings Institute during a fireside chat with distinguished economist Eshwar Prasad.
“Specifics (of the next budget) may be difficult at this stage because it’s a bit too early. But broadly, the growth priorities will be kept absolutely on the top. Even as I speak about the concerns that inflation brings before me. So, inflation concerns will have to be addressed. But then how would you manage growth would be the natural question,” Sitharaman said.
FM Sitharaman is slated to present India’s next annual budget to the Parliament in February of next year, and planning for it is likely to start in December.
“But that’s the point of being sure how you’re going to be able to balance the two and be sure that the momentum that the Indian economy has got coming out of the pandemic and the momentum with which it will grow even the next year, even as per the many many multilateral institutions which are observing India cannot be weakened,” she said.
“So, it will have to again be a very carefully structured budget in which growth momentum will have to be sustained,” Sitharaman said.
Sitharaman is in the US on a business trip. She will be in attendance at the IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings, the G20 Finance Ministers, and the Central Bank Governor (FMCBG) Meetings throughout her stay.
The Finance Minister will participate in bilateral discussions with a number of nations, including Germany, Mauritius, the UAE, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Bhutan, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.
The OECD, the European Commission, and the UNDP will all have one-on-one talks with the finance minister. In a high-level discussion, the finance minister will separately meet with David Malpass, president of the World Bank, and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to discuss issues of shared interest.
She also stated that the Center is negotiating with many nations to make Rupay acceptable in their countries.
“Not just that, the UPI (Unified Payments Interface), the BHIM app, and NCPI (the National Payments Corporation of India) are all now being worked in such a way that their systems in their respective country, however, robust or otherwise can talk to our system and the inter-operability itself will give strength for Indians expertise in those countries,” she said.