India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stressed on Thursday (February 30) Budget 2022 was not a populist exercise and the government had stability of the economy in mind rather than electoral gains. She was speaking with WION’s Editor-In-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary. Sitharaman present the union budget in Indian parliament on February 1.
India is entering the election season with state elections taking place in five states. The list includes Uttar Pradesh which is the most populous state in the country and commands great political might. Governments all over the world are viewed to be taking populist measures when elections are around the corner but Sitharaman stresses that this was not the case with Union Budget 2022.
She said that the government focussed on long-term stability of the Indian economy. She said that Indian government was committed to develop the nation and create more jobs. She emphasised that the government was leaving no stone unturned to help poor Indians.
One of major provisions in the budget was government’s decision to tax cryptocurrency gains. When she presented the budget in parliament, Nirmala Sitharaman announced decision to tax gains from cryptocurrency investments at 30 per cent.
Speaking on the issue, Sitharaman said that cryptocurrency should be inclusive and that government backing was necessary for every currency to function transparently. She further said that explanations around cryptocurrencies should be crystal clear.
Admitting that making a union budget in pandemic era was challenge, she thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and people of the country for their co-operation. Sitharaman said that the PM was very active and has been taking note of situation across sectors of the economy
Government often received criticism from Opposition parties who say that it favours the rich but the finance minister strongly refuted these allegations and said that budget provisions had welfare of people in middle-class and poorer sections of the society. She said that PM Modi himself had stressed that it was government’s duty to look after the poor.