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Higher direct and indirect tax collections indicator of high growth in last two years: Jaitley

Jaitley said the Congress had itself rescheduled Parliament sessions several times. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New York, NY, USA Feb 01, 2019, 09.03 PM (IST)

Union minister Arun Jaitley who presided over the previous four Budgets of the NDA government said the economic reforms undertaken by the government unshackled the Indian economy, calling the 2019 Budget "pro-growth, fiscally prudent, pro-farmer, pro-poor."

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Jaitley is currently in the United States after undergoing surgery at a hospital in New York. He had left for the US last month, in his absence Piyush Goyal presented the interim Budget today.

Budget 2019: Full text of finance minister Piyush Goyal's speech in Parliament

"Interim Budgets are also an opportunity for the government of the day to introspect their performance of the last five years and place its facts before the people," he said, while adding,"the future vision is to make India a $5 trillion economy. By the middle of the next decade we will achieve this and thereafter, target doubling that size of the economy."

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Jaitley in a tweet said that the Budget expanded spending while pragmatically sticking to fiscal prudence. He complimented Piyush Goyal for delivering an "excellent Budget".

"Higher direct and indirect tax collections in 2016-17 and 2017-18 are an indicator of high growth in those two years. Growth is based on estimates, but tax collections are real." 

"GST has already brought down most taxes on goods from 31% tax to the 18%, 12% and the 5% bracket," he asserted. "Never in the history of India during the five-year tenure of a government we have witnessed tax reduction and a middle class relief of this magnitude," Jaitley added.

Jaitley while speaking to ANI said: "What did the UPA do in their 10 years in power? A one-time loan waiver of Rs 70,000 crores. Only 52,000 crores were waived off and CAG report was that out of that Rs 52,000 crore a significant part of the money went to traders and businessmen and not to farmers."

"Now look at what we've been doing. Rural roads - 91% completed, rural housing - 2022 everyone will have a roof, 98.7% people in rural areas now have sanitation, every willing home is having electricity, every man has switched over the cooking methods," he said.