Bengaluru, Feb 21 (Mayank Nigam) Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said the Union Budget 2021-22 is about the role of government as a facilitator and the private sector as a key driver of economic growth, without which the country would be losing a big opportunity. The most important component or input required here is the participation of the private sector. Unless the private sector is energised enough, unless the private sector is facilitated enough, India is just losing a very big opportunity, she said here during an interactive session organised by the Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Sitharaman underlined that trhe nation’s growing and aspiring needs and demands across the various sectors cannot be served just by the state government and central governments put together.
According to the Finance Minister, the coronavirus vaccine was a big example of government-private partnership. To be a world leader with that specific India touch, which is more humane, which is more about bringing everybody together, which is peaceful, which actually wishes that the world progresses for everybodys good,’ she told the gathering. ‘If that is the way India approaches its responsibility, that will be incomplete unless the government plays the role, it is expected to play the facilitator and unless the private sector plays the role of a key driver. So thats the message this budget has talked about, the Finance Minister said.
Sitharam said the Budget was about setting the path for the decade. She pointed out that the stimulus package, which largely depended on the governments borrowing, was aimed at sectors which provided the multiplying effect such as infrastructure, the budget funding, where public expenditure was going to be undertaken. She said the government has clearly funded stimulus with the borrowed money, and was aware of fiscal management.
Debt to GDP, another indicator which is important for a healthy economy, has to be carefully managed in such a way that sooner in a sense, in a reasonable timeframe, the fiscal deficit will also be kept under the healthy level and not let unattended for decades together, Sitharaman said. The Finance Minister said the government wanted uninterrupted yet sustainable growth. The event saw a galaxy of tycoons and industry leaders such as Wipro founder Azim Premji, former director of Infosys T V Mohandas Pai, noted cardiac surgeon Dr Devi Prasad Shetty and president and chairman of Volvo Group India Kamal Bali Premji, in his speech, emphasised on taking along the private sector in the COVID-19 vaccination drive to speed up the inoculation process whereas Pai said the nation wants the companies to set up their industries within the country instead of becoming a digital colony. He also suggested giving away tablets to the children from weaker sections so that they were not left out in the ‘Digital India’ mission.