New Delhi :
The BJD today termed the Union Budget as a “big step” from a macro-economic perspective for its large allocation to infrastructure, especially in rural areas, and steps to cut red tape to ensure ease of doing business.
Party leader Baijayant Panda also lauded the Union Finance Minister for not resorting to a “populist” budget despite polls being around the corner in many states.
“This is not a populist budget and that’s not easy because the global scenario has been difficult. Fiscal deficit is important because that is the single most important factor due to which the country rating is determined. When Moody and other research and rating companies rate the country, they look at the fiscal deficit. And that impacts inflation, rupee exchange rate, so that I think takes a lot of courage.”
“From macro-economic point of view, this is a big step. All the massive allotments made for rural infrastructure, irrigation and farm sector as well as national infrastructure, cutting of red tape are growth oriented. I think it’s a good sign,” Panda said.
Immediately after the budget, Panda, a Lok Sabha MP, was seen walking up to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and congratulating him. He said the highest ever allocation has been made under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana for rural roads and highest under MNREGA Rs 38,500 crore.
He also referred to Rs 2.87 lakh crore to be given as grants-in-aid to village panchyats and municipalities to boost rural economy. “This is a big step. We have been talking about this for 30 years now,” he said.
Panda noted that several steps have been taken to ensure ease of doing business. He said the amnesty scheme to declare black money has been done after 1997.
“If you look from the taxes point of view, I think in terms of ensuring ease in doing business many steps have been taken. For instance, a new company will only take a day to register. This is a revolutionary step. The 45 per cent penalty on declaring black money is happening after 20 years. It last happened in 1997. This will help the economy.
“The way tax system has been stream-lined, by cutting the red tape and reducing the discretionary powers of the tax officers and replacing it by rule based power...all these things will give a boost,” he said. Naveen Patnaik-led BJD is ruling in Odisha.