Nirmala Sitharaman presents budget for 2021-22, Says “Fiscal deficit pegged At 9.5% Of GDP

New Delhi/Feb,1: Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman is announcing Budget 2021 in Parliament. Sitharaman said the Budget was prepared in circumstances -like never before- and that the government was fully prepared to back and facilitate a reset of the economy. According to her, the total impact of Atmanirbhar Bharat and Covid relief measures was₹27.1 lakh crore, which amounts to 13 per cent of the GDP.
In her Budget 2021 speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in insurance sector has been increased from 49 per cent to 74 per cent. Atmanirbhar Bharat schemes announced in 2020 were like five mini budgets themselves, said the Finance Minister. She added that two more COVID-19 vaccines will arrive.
The Finance Minister said capital expenditure would be increased to ₹ 5.54 lakh crore in Budget 2021-22, around 34 per cent higher than last year. “Only three times has the Budget followed a contraction in the economy This time, unlike before, the situation is due to a global pandemic,” Sitharaman said, adding that Budget 2021 provided every opportunity for economy to capture pace and grow sustainably.
The Finance Minister announced Rs 35,000 crore for COVID-19 vaccines this year, announcing that two more vaccines were likely this year, apart from Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Serum Institute’s Covishield. According to Ms Sitharaman, Budget 2021 proposals rest on six pillars. These are Health and Well-Being, Physical and Financial capital and infrastructure, Inclusive Development for Aspirational India, Reinvigorating Human Capital, Innovation and R&D, and Minimum Government, and Maximum Governance. Sitharaman said the manufacturing sector has to grow in double digits to achieve a $ 5 trillion economy. The Finance Minister also announced a voluntary scrapping policy to phase out old vehicles. Vehicles will go through fitness tests after 20 years for passenger vehicles, 15 years for commercial vehicles.
For Bengal, where a state election is due by May, the Finance Minister announced Rs 25,000 crore for highways. More than 13,000 km of roads would be awarded under the Bharat Mala project, Ms Sitharaman said. Sitharaman proposed three steps for the National Infrastructure Pipeline, which involve creating institutional structures, monetising assets, and enhancing share of capex in state and central budgets. She announced ₹ 20,000 crore for Development Financial Institution which aims for a portfolio of five lakh crore in three years. Budget 2021 will provide ₹ 1.1 lakh crore to Indian Railways of which ₹ 1.07 lakh crore is for capital expenditure.
Finance Minister announced that supplementary Nutrition Programme and POSHAN Abhiyaan is to be merged and Mission POSHAN 2.0 will be launched. This will strengthen nutritional content, delivery, and outcome, Intensified strategy for improving the nutritional outcomes in aspirational districts.
Sitharaman said that the government would infuse ₹ 20,000 crore into public sector banks (PSBs) in 2021-22, to meet the regulatory norms. For the current financial year, the government had made a provision of ₹ 20,000 crore for recapitalisation.

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