Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rejected the opposition’s charge of ‘selling family assets’ with respect to the increased privatization in Union Budget 2021. Terming it a “lazy allegation”, Sitharaman stood firm behind the sale of two public sector banks and one general insurance company. No names have been revealed yet.
Addressing the Congress jibe, she said, “Family silver should be strengthened, it should be our ‘takat’ (strength)… because you’ve spread it so thinly, there are many of them (PSUs) that are not able to survive and the few that can perform do not get due attention.”
According to the FM, the government’s disinvestment plan is concentrated on reallocating resources in a manner that helps to strategically improve the functioning and efficiency of public sector entities. Considering wrong applications of taxpayer money in the past, reducing the number of state-run enterprises is the only way to achieve the goal.
Commenting upon the taxpayer money collection and transparency, the Finance Minister said that honest taxpayers do not need to worry as technologies like Big data are playing a significant role in plugging tax-paying leakage.
She added that “socialist baggage” largely hindered business growth despite the reforms enacted before the current government. Furthermore, many state-run companies have shown the scale and potential to meet the aspirations of a growing country like ours, but many of them suffer due to the absence of professional expertise adequate for growth, she said.
Weighing the budget in an objective light, credit is due for the current government and bureaucrats because no new tax was applied on the common man, the much-debated ‘Corona Cess’ wasn’t introduced, and restrictions have been eased in home loans as well as gold bonds for investment and tax-saving purposes.