• Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Business

Why Modi govt did not go for populism in pre-poll budget? Finance minister explains

Sitharaman expressed confidence over the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) doing well in this year’s elections, saying people blessed them twice (2014 and 2019) and there will be no exception in 2024.

Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE Indian government led by prime minister Narendra Modi is confident of doing well in the upcoming general elections due in a few months because of the “trust people have” in the PM, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Indian channel NDTV on Friday (2), a day after presenting the interim budget 2024.

Explaining why she did not go for populist measures in her financial presentations, the minister said everyone in the government harbours confidence that people know the welfare schemes have reached them.

The 64-year-old Sitharaman, who became only the second Indian finance minister to present the budget for a record sixth time, told NDTV that her government is confident since in the last decade, it not only unveiled pro-people schemes but also worked hard to implement them on the ground and ensure that every last eligible person got the benefits.

Read: US India Business Council says 2024 budget shows India’s efforts to boost jobs

“These beneficiaries know that we did what we promised,” she was quoted as saying by the channel. 

She said when people have confidence that a government works towards enabling them to benefit from the schemes and they reach the people, its own confidence also goes up.

She also expressed confidence over the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) doing well in this year’s elections, saying people blessed them twice (2014 and 2019) and there will be no exception in 2024.

Read: Singapore business community elated over Modi’s interim budget, says it will hit bull’s eye

Sitharaman also praised Modi for maintaining “good fiscal discipline”.

She said while presenting the budget that the Modi government is striving towards making India a developed nation by 2047. The finance minister underlined the need to focus on four categories of people — women, youth, farmers and poor — adding that their requirements were the “highest priority”.

The budget did not feature any revisions to income-tax slabs or any major policy announcements, something that the salaried Indian middle class often hopes about.

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